All Indian American Congress Representatives Re-elected

Five Indian-American Democratic lawmakers— California’s Ami Bera, Illinois’ Raja Krishnamoorthi, Senator Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, Pramila Jayapal from Washington, and California’s Ro Khanna.

Washington DC: Even as the world awaits the results of the US presidential elections, Indian-Americans have some reason to celebrate.

The “Samosa Caucus” comprising five Indian-American Democratic lawmakers—Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois, Ami Bera and Ro Khanna from California, Pramila Jayapal from Washington, and Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris—have had a promising run in the elections.

Hiral Tiperni, running for House in Arizona, lost with a thin margin. The Mumbai-born doctor and cancer research advocate who moved to the US at the age of three built a campaign rallying behind a broad spectrum of issues including Medicare, reproductive rights, second amendment rights, equality for the LGBTQ+ community, and racial justice, among other things. Had she been elected, she would have become the second Indian-American woman after Jayapal to make it to the House.

After narrowly losing in 2018, Sri Preston Kulkarni ran for House in Texas again this year. The 42-year-old former Foreign Services worker, who lists making healthcare affordable and accessible as a big campaign issue, was hoping to turn Texas blue this time.

Andhra Pradesh-born Manga Anantamula, a vocal supporter of India’s controversial Article 370 and Citizenship Amendment Act, lost the race for a House seat in Virginia.

“This year’s election represented a giant leap forward for the Indian-Americans’ role in US politics,” Neil Makhija from the Impact Funds, which had raised $10 million during this election cycle, told The Week. He added that this election featured a record number of Indian-American candidates running in state and federal races. And Kamala Harris, of course, became the first Indian-origin leader to win the vice-presidential ticket.

IMPACT raised a groundbreaking $10 million to support turnout efforts in the Asian American and Indian American community and to elect IMPACT’s 2020 slate of candidates. The funds were invested in the presidential, state-wide, and congressional races in battleground states, including nearly $2 million apiece in Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas.

Even as citizens, Indian-Americans have emerged as a force to reckon with. Around 2 million of them voted, with half a million coming from battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. They also donated more generously than ever before to this year’s campaign.