Midterm Polls: A Great Slate of Indian-American Candidates in FrayTop Stories

November 05, 2018 05:21
Midterm Polls: A Great Slate of Indian-American Candidates in Fray

(Image source from: The Indian Express)

The former United States ambassador to India, Rich Verma, told PTI ahead of November 6 midterm elections that it has been incredible to see the rise of Indian-Americans in the U.S. politics.

About 100 Indian-Americans are on the ballot this time across the country who as well emerged as strong candidates. This comes at a time when anti-immigration persuasion is at its peak.

All the four Indian-American lawmakers in the existing House of Representatives are hoped-for to easily pass with flying colors in midterm polls.

Related content: Midterm Elections: Know the Chances of Indian-American Candidates

There are three-term Congressman Ami Bera from the seventh Congressional district of California and three first-timers, who are seeking their re-election: Ro Khanna from 17th Congressional District of California, Raja Krishnamoorthi from eighth Congressional District of Illinois and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal from seventh Congressional District of Washington State.

The four incumbents are joined by seven other Indian-Americans on the ballot for House of Representatives.

Successful entrepreneur Shiv Ayyadurai is the sole Indian-American to be running for Senate. He has pitched himself as an independent against the powerful Elizabeth Warren - a potential Democratic presidential candidate - for the Senate seat in Massachusetts. But they are not all.

"This year, nearly 100 Indian-Americans ran for office in all levels of government, including some who could flip House seats from red to blue," John Santos, spokesperson AAPI media of Democratic National Committee.

"From Arizona to Texas, Ohio, Michigan and beyond - we have a great slate of Indian-American candidates. I hope that our number (in the Congress) increases," Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi told PTI in an interview.

Krishnamoorthi, who has raised over USD 5 million, according to latest figures of the Federal Election Commission, had coined the term "Samosa Caucus" in the Congress.

At least three of the Indian-Americans are locked up in toss-up races - Tipirneni, Kulkarni, and Pureval. NBC News this week also listed out the three Indian-Americans as the one who could make a difference in their races.

Verma feels the only mode to give the Indian-American candidates a chance to serve is to get out and vote. "The stakes are so high. This is the most important election of my lifetime."

The former American diplomat said he was disappointed and concerned at the "racist, anti-immigrant" closing argument made by President Donald Trump and thinks this kind of fear-mongering should concern all Americans, but particularly immigrants them.

"We have to stand up and be heard at the ballot box so we can stamp out the fear and hate, and prop up the terrific crop of candidates who have shown the courage to run and who are running on a very positive, inclusive and pro-growth agenda," he said.

Krishnamoorthi echoed Verma, saying it all starts with voters getting out and making sure that their voice is heard on the election day. "I want to see a greater number (of Indian-Americans for elected office) and I'd like to see them happen across the geographic landscape."

According to Santos, these candidates have put districts in play that Trump won because they are talking about the issues that matter to voters, like protecting access to quality and affordable health care and investing in higher education.

"The DNC is proud to have the backs of Indian-American candidates running up and down the ticket who are working hard to engage diverse constituencies and expand participation of communities who often feel ignored and left behind," Santos added.

-Sowmya Sangam

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