Indian-American Democrats lead in race to US House

Rohit “Ro” Khanna and Ami Bera are leading in the race for the US House of Representatives from their Congressional districts in California


Sant Chatwal (in turban), chairman Indian American Democrats & Friends of Hillary Clinton at a press conference, in Manhatten on Wednesday. Photo: PTI
Sant Chatwal (in turban), chairman Indian American Democrats & Friends of Hillary Clinton at a press conference, in Manhatten on Wednesday. Photo: PTI

New York: Indian-Americans Rohit “Ro” Khanna and Ami Bera are leading in the race for the US House of Representatives from their districts in California. With 56% of the votes counted in California’s Silicon Valley, Democratic Congressman Bera was leading with 54% votes at 47,427, ahead of his Republican party rival Scott Jones who got 46% votes.

Khanna, the democratic party candidate from California’s 17th District was leading with 58% votes at 50,952 after 72% of the votes were counted. His closest rival Mike Honda, also of the Democratic party, had so far garnered 42% of the votes. In the primaries early this summer, 40-year-old Khanna had received more votes than eight-term incumbent Honda.

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California electoral system allows the top two winners of the primaries to proceed to the general polls, even if they are from the same party. Khanna had narrowly lost to Honda in 2014 Congressional polls.

A Yale law graduate and a former official of the Obama administration, Khanna is pitted against his own party’s Honda to represent the 17th Congressional district of California, whose residents stretch from Tesla Motors factory in Fremont to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino - taking in Intel, Yahoo, and eBay along the way.

Bera, 51, is the only Indian-American in the current Congress and is third ever elected to the House of Representatives after Dalip Singh Saund in 1950 and Bobby Jindal in 2000s.

If re-elected for the third term, Bera would equal the record of Saund, who was elected to the House of Representatives from the 29th Congressional District of California from January 1957 to January 1963.

Jindal, who later went on to become the two-term Governor of Louisiana, was elected to the US House of Representatives twice in 2004 and 2006.

Another Indian-American Democratic Party candidate in New Jersey’s 7th congressional district Peter Jacob lost the race to Republican party’s Leonard Lance, who got 55% of the votes. Jacob came in a close second garnering 42% of the votes.

In Michigan’s 11th District, Democratic Party candidate Anil Kumar lost the race, getting 40% of the votes against Republican candidate Dave Trott who was leading with 53% votes. PTI

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