US elections: All four Indian-American Democrats back in House

Democrats and Republicans took several steps to woo the approximately 1.8 million members of the Indian community who have emerged as a critical voting bloc in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas

(From left) Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Democrat Vice-President nominee Kamala Harris, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Dr Ami Bera

In an impressive show, all the four Indian-American Democratic lawmakers — Dr Ami Bera, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna and Raja Krishnamoorthi — have been re-elected to the US House of Representatives.

The Indian-American community has emerged as a force to reckon with for the first time in the history of the US presidential election. Both the Democrat and the Republican campaigns had initiated several measures to woo the approximately 1.8 million members of the community who have emerged as a critical voting bloc in the battleground states of Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

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The so-called Samosa caucus, a term coined by Krishnamoorthi for informal grouping of Indian-American lawmakers, might expand with at least one more as physician Dr Hiral Tipirneni was leading against Republican incumbent David Schweikert from the sixth Congressional district of Arizona when last reports came in. If elected, Tipirneni, 52, would be the second ever Indian-American woman to be elected to the House of Representatives. Jayapal, 55, was the first to be elected to the House of Representatives in 2016.

The Samosa caucus currently comprises five Indian-American lawmakers, including the four members of the House of Representatives and Senator and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris, 56. Raja Krishnamoorthi, 47, easily defeated Preston Nelson, 30, of the Libertarian Party. When last reports came in, he had accounted for nearly 71 per cent of the total votes counted.

Ro Khanna, 44, defeated fellow Indian-American Ritesh Tandon, 48, of the Republican Party with a margin of more than 50 percentage points. This was his third-consecutive win from the 17th Congressional district of California.

Dr Ami Bera, 55, the senior-most member of the Samosa Caucus, won the seventh Congressional District of California for the fifth consecutive term. When the last report came in, he had established an inaccessible lead by more than 25 percentage points against his Republican rival 65-year-old Buzz Patterson.

Also read: Delhi-born Raja Krishnamoorthi re-elected to US House of Representatives

Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Sri Preston Kulkarni, 42, lost to his Republican rival Troy Nehls, 52, a popular sheriff and military veteran endorsed by President Donald Trump, in the 22nd Congressional district of Texas.

Republican Manga Anantatmula lost to Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly in the 11th Congressional District of Virginia. Republican Nisha Sharma from the Republican Party also lost her maiden Congressional attempt. She was defeated by incumbent Mark DeSaulnier from the Democratic Party by more than 50 percentage points. The House of Representatives is the lower house of the US Congress, with the Senate being the upper house.

(With inputs from PTI)

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