Indian-Americans show their mettle: 5 make it to the Congress

The five winners: Kamala Harris, Pramila Jayapal, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, Ami Bera

WASHINGTON (TIP): Indian-Americans created history in US Congressional politics with one of them becoming the first to be elected to the Senate and four others winning seats in the House of Representatives.

Pramila
Pramila Jayapal from Washington

While Kamala Harris was elected from California to the Senate, Pramila Jayapal from Washington, Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois and Ro Khanna from California are going to join Ami Bera, who was re-elected from California in the House of Representatives.

kamlaCalifornia’s Attorney General Kamala Harris created history by becoming the first Indian- American Senator in the US Congress by defeating Loretta Sanchez. The democrat politician and lawyer was elected California’s Attorney General in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother who emigrated from Chennai in 1960 and a Jamaican American father, is the first female, the first African-American, and the first Indian-American attorney general in California.

A financial analyst by profession, Pramila Jayapal has also created history, by becoming the first Indian American woman to be elected to the US Congress from Washington state’s 7th District. Born in Chennai, she moved to the U.S in 1982. She started her political career through campaigns for the rights of immigrants, women, and workers. She was recognized by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for her work for immigrant community.

Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois
Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois

Raja Krishnamoorthi, a technology entrepreneur who had advised President Barack Obama on economic issues when he was a Senator, also served as Illinois state Deputy Treasurer and an Assistant Attorney General on special assignment to fight corruption. He defeated Republican Peter DiCianni in Illinois’s 8th District. Democrat Krishnamoorthi is the fourth Indian American to be elected to the US House of Representatives.

Ro Khanna
Ro Khanna

Rohit Ro Khanna, a former federal Deputy Assistant Commerce Secretary, defeated sitting Congressman Mike Honda on his second try. Khanna had also challenged Honda in 2014, losing to him by just four percentage points. He received donations and endorsements from big tech names involved in companies such as Yahoo, Google, and Facebook.

Ami Bera
Ami Bera

Amerish Babulal “Ami” Bera, a physician who has been the U.S. Representative for California’s 7th congressional district since 2013, had come under a cloud after his 83-year-old father, Babulal Bera, was found guilty of illegally funding his son’s election campaign and sentenced to a year in prison. Prosecutors, however, cleared Ami Bera of involvement in his father’s crime and he beat the odds to defeat his Republican rival Scott Jones.