All the four Indian-American Democrat members of the House of Representatives were re-elected in Tuesday’s election and a member of the community won the Attorney General’s position in Wisconsin state.
Raja Krishnamoorthi, who represents a constituency near Chicago in Illinois, won about 66 percent of the votes to defeat his Indian-American challenger J.D. Diganvker of the Republican Party.
The other House candidates re-elected were Pramila Jeyapal from Washington State, and Ro Khanna and Ami Bera from California.
Together with the only Senator of Indian descent, Kamala Harris, they make up what they themselves jokingly call “The Samosa Caucus,” Harris won from California in 2016 did not face a re-election as she has a six-year term.
None of the other Indian Americans running for Congress made it.
In a sign of the Indian-American community’s growing political involvement, Democrat Josh Kaul was elected Attorney General of Wisconsin in a tight race with a margin of about 1 percent of the votes, although his victory is likely to be challenged by his Republican rival.
He will be the second Indian-American Attorney General. The first is Gurbir Grewal, a turban-wearing Sikh, in New Jersey where Attorneys General are not elected but appointed by the Governor.
Kaul is the fourth Indian-American to win a state-wide election, which sets the stage for him to run for other higher offices. The first was Piyush Bobby Jindal, elected Louisiana governor in 2007 who was followed by Nikki Haley, elected South Carolina governor in 2010; both are Republicans. The third is Harris.
Shiva Ayyadurai, who ran as an Independent against Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, lost badly, getting only about 3.5 percent of the votes.
Warren has claimed Native American or American Indian ancestry and Ayyadurai ran a controversial campaign with the headline, “Only a real Indian can defeat a fake Indian’.
At least seven other Indians ran for Congress on Democratic Party tickets but lost according to a database of the Indian American Impact Fund and Desis for Progress, which had endorsed them.
Harry Arora, who ran for the House as a Republican from Connecticut, lost.
The database also showed that six Indian-American Democrats had been elected to State legislatures for the first time.