Tuesday 24 November 2020
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Indian-American candidates in US elections: A mixed bag

The Indian-American candidates have been a significant part of the nominees/contestants for both the Democrats and the Republicans this election

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Politics World Indian-American candidates in US elections: A mixed bag

Indian-origin Americans have arrived big-time on the US election circuit. It’s not just about part-Indian origin Kamala Harris, the vice-presidential candidate of the Democrats. There are scores and scores of other Indian-origin politicians testing their electoral fate in this US election 2020.

Four of the five members of what Americans call the “Samosa Caucus” (a term coined for Indian-American lawmakers by Raja Krishnamoorthi) have won seats in the US election. Voters have re-elected Raja Krishnamoorthi, Pramila Jayapal, Roh Khanna and Ami Bera to the house of representatives.

Here’s a table listing a few of the Indian-origin contestants who made their mark in the US Presidential election 2020, whether or not they won.

Sr noCandidatePartyRunning For OfficeStateResult
1.Hiral TipirneniDemocratUS Congress ArizonaLeading
2.Amie BeraDemocratUS CongressCaliforniaWon
3.Ro KhannaDemocratUS CongressCaliforniaWon
4. Ritesh TandonRepublicanUS Congress CaliforniaLost
5.Nisha SharmaRepublicanUS CongressCaliforniaLost
6. Sanat Sethy Mayor, San RamonCaliforniaLost
7. Dr Dinesh Govindarao Mayor, San RamonCaliforniaLost
8. Aparna Madireddi Mayor, San RamonCaliforniaLost
9. Susmita Nayak Mayor, San RamonCaliforniaLost
10. Sridhar Verose Mayor, San RamonCaliforniaWon
11Rishi Kumar US CongressCaliforniaLost
12. Vedica Puri Superior Court of San Francisco CountyCaliforniaWon Uncontested
13. Raja KrishnamoorthiDemocratUS CongressIllinoisWon
14. Nima Kulkarni  DemocratHouse of RepresentativesKentuckyWon
15.Sara GideonDemocratUS SenateMaine Trailing
16. Padma KuppaDemocratState RepresentativeMichiganAwaiting
17. Ranjeev Puri DemocratSate RepresentativeMichiganAwaiting
18. Radhika KunnelDemocratState AssemblyNevadaAwaiting
19.Latha MangipudiDemocratState RepresentativeNew HampshireWon
20. Rik MehtaRepublicanUS SenateNew JerseyLost
21.Rupande Mehta State SenateNew JerseyAwaiting
22.Jesal AminRepublicanMayor, East BrunswickNew JerseyTrailing
23. Brajesh SinghRepublicanMayor, PiscatawayNew JerseyLost
24. Dhimant Patel Running mate – Brijesh SinghNew JerseyLost
25. Sarita Bhandarkar DemocratState AssemblyNew YorkLost
26.Ronnie ChatterjiDemocratTreasurerNorth CarolinaLost
27. Niraj Antani State RepresentativeOhioWon
28. Pooja Sethi City Council, AustinTexasLost
29. Sri Preston Kulkarni DemocratUS CongressTexasLost
30. Kesha RamDemocratState SenateVermontWon
31. Manga Anantatmula RepublicanUS CongressVirginiaLost
32. Puneet Ahluwalia RepublicanState Lt-GovernorVirginiaAwaiting
33.Pramila Jayapal DemocratUS CongressWashingtonWon
34. Jay Chaudhuri DemocratState SenateNorth CarolinaAwaiting
35. Vandana SlatterDemocratState RepresentativeWashingtonAwaiting

29-year-old political science graduate Niraj Antani has become one of the youngest state lawmakers in the US. The Republican who had – at the age of 23 been elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 2014 – thereby becoming one of the youngest lawmakers in the US. Now he is the first Indian-American to be elected to the Ohio state Senate.

Antani is currently the State Representative. He defeated Mark Fogel of the Democratic Party on 3 November and was elected as the state Senator for the Ohio Senate’s 6th District, which encompasses most of Montgomery County.

Jenifer Rajkumar of the Democratic Party ran for election to the New York State Assembly to represent District 38 and was on the ballot in the general election on 3 November, 2020. In 2016, she was the Democratic candidate for District 65 of the New York State Assembly but was defeated in the 13 September, 2016, primary election.

Jenifer Rajkumar holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004 and her JD from Stanford Law School in 2008. She has worked as a lawyer and as an adjunct professor at CUNY and in the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) as New York State’s Director of Immigration Affairs & Special Counsel.

Srinivas Rao Preston Kulkarni (Democratic Party) ran for election to the US House to represent Texas’ 22nd Congressional District. He was on the ballot in the general election on 3 November, 2020.

The Democratic Party’s hopes of flipping District 22 in Texas were dashed when promising Indian American candidate, Kulkarni, a former Foreign Service officer, received 45% of the vote against Republican Tory Nehls’ 52%. The Associated Press called the election of Nehls with 76% of the vote counted. This was Kulkarni’s second attempt. He lost in the 2018 midterm elections. 

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