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Indian-American lawmakers retain house seats, new challengers disappointed

All four sitting House members, who are Democrats, won comfortably. Ami Bera, the senior-most among them, won a record fourth-term from California, that took him past third-term member Dalip Singh Saund, the first Indian- American ever elected to US Congress

world Updated: Nov 08, 2018 21:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Washington
India-Americans,US mid-term polls 2018,Indians in US Congress
Democrat for Congress candidate Sri Kulkarni (centre) , who was one of the 12 Indian-Americans contesting for the House of Representatives in the US midterm polls 2018. While the four sitting members were re-elected, Kulkarni and five other Democrats and two Republicans were defeated (File Photo)(AP)

All four incumbent Indian-American members of the House of Representatives were re-elected in the mid-term election on Tuesday, but none of the eight challengers.

Indian-Americans also picked up six seats in state legislatures and Josh Kaul won for attorney general in Wisconsin state.

All four sitting House members, who are Democrats, won comfortably. Ami Bera, the senior-most among them, won a record fourth-term from California, that took him past third-term member Dalip Singh Saund, the first Indian- American ever elected to US Congress.

The other three are Ro Khanna, a fellow Californian who represents a district that is home to the Silicon Valley; Raja Krishnamoorthi in Illinois and Pramila Jayapal in Washington state.

But there were expectations and excitement in the community over the fact a record 12 Indian-Americans in all, including the incumbents, were in the final stages of race for the House. Six of the Democratic challengers were Sri Preston Kulkarni (Texas), Aftab Pureval (Ohio), Hiral Tiperneni (Arizona), Anita Malik (Arizona), Sanjay Patel (Florida) and Chintan Desai (Arkansas). The two Republicans were Harry Arora (Connecticut) and Jitendra Diganvker (Illinois — he was running against Krishnamoorthi).

Disappointed? “While it’s disappointing that we weren’t able to add to their ranks, it’s worth noting that many of the Congressional challengers outperformed past candidates in their districts,” said Gautam Raghavan, a former Obama White House official who heads Indian American Impact Project, a body that helped Indian-Americans in their races.

First Published: Nov 08, 2018 21:29 IST