Wednesday, 17 August, 2022
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US election sees return of ‘Samosa Caucus’ — Indian-Americans winning seats in Congress

Ten Indian-Americans have run for US Congress, of which four have won their respective races, four have lost and the fate of two is yet to be determined.

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New Delhi: The ‘Samosa Caucus’ is returning, and could likely add a few new faces to it.

India-American politicians Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Dr Ami Bera and Raja Krishnamoorthi — all incumbent Democratic members of the US House of Representatives, the lower house, were re-elected Wednesday.

However, the ‘Samosa Caucus’, an informal term referring to the grouping of Indian-American lawmakers, could expand beyond the four Democrats and Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris.

Four others have sought election to the House of Representatives. These include Democrats Sri Preston Kulkarni and Hiral Tipirneni, and Republicans Manga Anantatmula and Nisha Sharma.

Two Indian-Americans are also running for the Senate, the upper house — Democrat Sara Gideon and Republican Rik Mehta.

In total, 10 Indian-Americans have run for US Congress this year, of which seven are Democrats and three are Republicans. So far, four Indian-Americans have won their respective races, four have lost and two are in races too close to call as of now.


Also read: Where the US Election stands in key states and how long it may take for a result


Who is in the Samosa Caucus

Winners

Pramila Jayapal: The first Indian-American woman to be elected to the US Congress, Jaypal was re-elected by a landslide in the 7th congressional district of Washington. She beat her Republican challenger Craig Keller by 69.6 percentage points, which was 282,601 votes.

Ro Khanna: A lawyer and an academic, Democratic incumbent Ro Khanna won the 17th Congressional District of California by defeating his Republican counterpart and fellow Indian-American, Ritesh Tandon. Khanna won by 48.2 percentage points.

Dr Ami Bera: Physician Amerish Babulal ‘Ami’ Bera was re-elected in the 7th Congressional District of California. He defeated 65-year-old Republican rival Buzz Patterson by 22 percentage points.

Raja Krishnamoorthi: Incumbent Subramanian Raja Krishnamoorthi won the 8th Congressional District of Illinois and defeated Preston Nelson of the Libertarian Party, the third-largest political party in the US, by 42.2 percentage points.


Also read: Why the US is a model of how not to be a democracy


Losers

Sri Preston Kulkarni: Former diplomat with alleged RSS ties, Sri Preston Kulkarni lost the 22nd Congressional District of Texas to Republican challenger Sheriff Troy Nehls Wednesday. The latter won by roughly 7 percentage points.

Manga Anantatmula: Andhra Pradesh-born Republican candidate Manga Anantatmula lost to Democratic challenger Gerry Connolly in the 11th Congressional District of Virginia. She lost by 43.4 percentage points.

Nisha Sharma: Republican candidate Nisha Sharma lost her maiden congressional attempt to incumbent Democrat Mark DeSaulnier in the 11th Congressional District of California. She lost by 50.6 percentage points.

Rik Mehta: Republican candidate Rik Mehta lost the Senate race in New Jersey to Democrat favourite Cory Brooker. This is not surprising since New Jersey hasn’t elected a Republican to the Senate since 1972. Mehta lost by 22.7 percentage points.

In the race

Sara Gideon: The Senate race in Maine between Democrat Sara Gideon, who is also the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, and Senator Susan Collins is narrow and ongoing. Collins had a 5.7 percentage point lead as of Wednesday morning. So far, 66 per cent of the estimated vote total has been reported.

Hiral Tipirneni: Physician and cancer research advocate Hiral Tipirneni maintains a 0.6 percentage point lead in the 6th Congressional District of Arizona over Republican rival David Schweikert. So far, 80 per cent of the estimated vote total has been reported.


Also read: Trump claims victory in US elections, will go to Supreme Court to get ‘voting’ stopped


 

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