WASHINGTON: Four Indian-American politicians from the ruling Democratic Party, including Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal, were elected to the US House of Representatives on Wednesday and many others won across the country to state legislatures in the highly polarised midterm elections.
Indian-American entrepreneur-turned-politician and Democrat Shri Thanedar became the first Indian American to win the Congressional elections from Michigan, pipping Republican candidate Martell Bivings.
Shri Thanedar, 67, currently represents the third district in the Michigan House.
In the eighth Congressional District of Illinois, Raja Krishnamoorthi, 49, was re-elected for the fourth consecutive term by a comfortable margin. He defeated his Republican opponent Chris Dargis.
In Silicon Valley, Indian-American Ro Khanna, 46, defeated his compatriot Republican opponent Ritesh Tandon in the 17th Congressional District of California.
Chennai-born Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, the only Indian-American woman lawmaker in the House of Representatives, defeated her GOP rival, Cliff Moon in the 7th Congressional District of Washington State.
Khanna, Krishnamoorthi, and Jayapal are seeking their fourth consecutive terms.
Ami Bera, 57, the seniormost among the Indian-American politicians of all, is seeking his sixth term in the House of Representatives from the 7th Congressional District of California. The result is yet to be announced.
Indian-Americans candidates picked up seats in State legislatures also.
In Maryland, Aruna Miller scripted history by becoming the first Indian-American politician to win the race of Lieutenant Governor.
Aruna Miller, 58, a former delegate to the Maryland House, was on the Lieutenant Governor ticket along with Wes Moore — the Democratic Governor-elect.
However, Indian-American Sandeep Srivastava lost from Texas’s third Congressional district to Keith Self, the former Colin County judge.
The emergence of a large number of young Indian-American candidates reflects the growing desire of this small ethnic community comprising just one per cent of the US population of 33.19 crores.
Ahead of the November 8 elections, the Democrats and the Republicans reached out to the Indian-Americans.
The Washington Post newspaper on Friday said that Indian-Americans can play an important role in some of the tightly contested races.
“Ahead of mid-term elections that could be decided by razor-thin margins, Democrats are hoping to capitalise on some of the optimism felt by Indian-Americans, a growing and increasingly vital bloc of voters,” the daily wrote.
The midterm elections will have a significant impact on the direction of the nation, as well as the fate of the person and the party in power in the White House.
Currently, Democrats are in the majority due to the tiebreaking power of Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris, who serves ex officio as the president of the Senate.
The outcome will influence the playing field for the 2024 presidential campaign, and especially the odds of Donald Trump running again.