US Elections: New Congress could have more Indian Americans to the House

Vastavam web: The upcoming US elections on November 3 could very well see the expansion of the so called Samosa Caucus , a termed coined by Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi for informal grouping of Indian-American lawmakers, according to the latest Congressional polls coming from states. The “Samosa caucus” comprises of five Indian-American lawmakers, including four members of the House of Representatives and Senator and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

In the House of Representatives, senior most Dr Ami Bera, Congressmen Ro Khanna and Krishnamoorthi along with Pramila Jayapal, who is the first and the only Indian American women in the House, are projected to be re-elected on November 3. Tripirneni, the emergency room physician is leading, though by a narrow margin, against Republican incumbent David Schweikert in the sixth Congressional District of Arizona.

He has been endorsed by top leaders of the Democratic party, including former vice president Joe Biden, the presidential candidate. Former State Department Diplomat Sri Preston Kulkarni is leading by five percent against his Republican rival Troy Nehls in the 22nd Congressional District of Texas, which is an open seat this time. Kulkarni, 42, had narrowly lost the 2018 Congressional elections. Local media and political pundits are giving him a greater chance to enter the House of Representatives. He hopes to be the first Indian American to be elected to the House from Texas.

All eyes are on the Senate race in Maine, where the Democrats are pinning hope on Indian-origin Senator Sara Gideon to win the seat against powerful Republican Senator Susan Collins. Gideon, 48, whose father is from India and mother from Armenia, has consistently maintained a lead against Collins in almost all the recent polls. Dr Bera, 55, who is seeking his fifth consecutive term to the House of Representatives, is the longest serving Indian American in the Congress. He represents the seventh Congressional District of California. He is being challenged by Republican Buzz Patterson, a military veteran.

Seeking a third Congressional term, Congressman Ro Khanna is facing challenge from another Indian-American Ritesh Tandon of Republican Party. Khanna has raised a whopping USD 3.6 million for his election campaign as against a paltry USD 152,000 by Tandon. Congresswoman Jayapal, who is seeking her third-consecutive attempt, in such a short span of time has emerged as one of the top Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives.

Representing seventh Congressional District of Washington State, Jayapal is being challenged by Republcian Craig Keller, who is said to have little chance in the November 3 polls. Democratic Krishnamoorthi is pitted against Preston Nelson of the Libertarian Party in the November elections from the eighth Congressional District of Illinois. The seat is a Democratic stronghold, so much so that the Republican Party had cancelled its primary this year as no candidates filed for this seat.

Source: PTI