South Asian Americans All Set To Slay Midterm Elections

8 min


South Asian Americans are slaying it this year, as the number of candidates has grown in the run for office in the United States. Unsatisfied with the government promises, scandals and lack of action, more and more Americans of South Asian origin are becoming interested in public duties and public offices to bring in new viewpoints and solutions during the upcoming midterm elections.  

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections

There was a time when it was uncommon to see a South Asian in an ad campaign, or on the ballot, in a federal agency or running a big organization in the United States. But with the changing time, many are now visible at national, state and local level public platforms. Giving priority to the rising critical issues such as immigration, social justice, diversity and economic prosperity, South Asians want to be the voice and bring a change in the system. 

This time the candidates have doubled, from 2015 and more than 2000 people from the Asian community have filed paperwork to run for Congress. According to a study of Federal Election Commission data by The Washington Post — Asian-Americans have been especially optimistic about being able to win races, and especially motivated by concerns over immigration rhetoric and anti-Muslim violence that picked up nationwide following the election of Donald Trump.

Let us join hands to bring our fellow South Asian candidates to power.  

BEEJ DAS

Running for: U.S. Representative, District 3

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections- Beej Das

This Indian-American entrepreneur is a registered Democrat running for Congress from Massachusetts. Das who has received education in political science and constitutional law wants to change the toxic political culture of Washington DC. He believes that politicians in Washington are disconnected from the realities of their constituents and the economies in which they live. Das wants to focus on issues like education, health, climate change, and mental illness.

SHRI THANEDAR

Running for: Governor, Michigan

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-electionsSHRI THANEDAR

Shri Thanedar is a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for governor of Michigan in the 2018 election. A native of India, Thanedar is a graduate from the University of Mumbai, worked at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center before immigrating to the United States. 63-year-old retired entrepreneur. He hopes to bring new governing culture to Lansing, work on transparency and work ethics and fight back against the influence of billionaires.

SURAJ PATEL

Running for: U.S. Representative, 12th District, New York

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections-SURAJ PATEL

Suraj Patel is a first-generation Indian-American who studied political science at Stanford and received a master’s degree from Cambridge. He has also been a part of the Obama White House Advance Team. His political philosophy says that Congress needs a new generation leadership. Congress needs new blood. Some of the issues in his platform focuses on gender equality, legalization of marijuana, and digitalized voting.

DR. SHIVA AYYADURAI, I-MA

Running for: U.S. Senate, Massachusetts

Party: Republican

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections-SHIVA

Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai claims to be the inventor of the email system, holds 4 degrees from MIT and runs 7 successful companies including EchoMail, system Health, and CytoSolve, Inc., which is discovering cures for major diseases. He is a candidate for the US Senate running as an Independent. Ayyadurai has been in the news for repeatedly questioning Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage.

CHINTAN DESAI 

Running for: U.S. Representative, District 1 Arkansas

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections- chintan desai

California bred and son of immigrants from Mumbai, Chintan Desai is running for Congress because he believes that all Arkansans must be heard. “My parents immigrated to America before I was born to find themselves a better life. Americans shouldn’t have to leave Arkansas to find theirs,” he mentions on his campaign website. His belief in equality in opportunity want to bring affordable healthcare and high-quality education.

ANITA MALIK

Running for: U.S. Representative, District 6 Arizona

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections- Anita Malik

This daughter of immigrants from India was born in Kansas City, Missouri and later moved to Arizona. She has earned degrees in computer information systems and journalism and is now an entrepreneur, running for Congress. Her agenda is ‘listen first then lead’ and she believes that the best system lives outside the noise of party politics. She wants to create economy and rebuild the American dream.

HARRY ARORA

Running for: U.S. Representative, District 4, Connecticut

Party: Republican

Ethnicity: Indian-American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections-harry arora

Connecticut based Harry Arora is an immigrant and now a co-founder of an investment firm. Arora a cancer survivor, who believes that his experience in finance and investment give him the skillset to alleviate the district’s economic situation, which a four-term incumbent Jim Himes has not done. His campaign focuses on economic issues, health care, and transportation. He lives in Greenwich, CT with his wife and three children.

SUNEEL GUPTA

Running for: U.S. Representative, District 11

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections-SUNEEL GUPTA

Brother of CNN fame Sanjay Gupta, Suneel Gupta is an entrepreneur and political newcomer, who is running as a Democrat U.S. Rep. to replace incumbent Republican Rep, Dave Trott. Gupta is a law graduate and has been a former colleague of First Lady Michelle Obama. He lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters and believes that in recent years Michigan hasn’t done best in creating jobs and preparing for the future. He wants to create jobs in the new economy in the tech and healthcare fields.

JITENDRA ‘JD’ DIGANVKER

Running for: U.S. House 8th Congressional District, Illinois

Party: Republican

Ethnicity: Indian-American 

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections-JD

JD Digvankar’s sole purpose to run Illinois 8th Congressional District is to give a voice to the hard-working, middle-class Americans often ignored by career politicians in Washington. Digvankar came from India to America seeking opportunity, he faced struggle and in between, he lost his two daughters in a fire accident. If elected by his Republican party in the primaries, Diganvker, a business owner, and community worker would be pitted against popular Democratic Incumbent Raja Krishnamoorthi.

SRI PRESTON KULKARNI

Running for: U.S. Representative, District 24

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections-PRESTON KULKARNI

Kulkarni has shown the quality of a leader in every aspect of his life, whether it’s his office, family or community. He is affluent in speaking six languages and has received a master’s degree from Harvard during his mid-career. Kulkarni was commissioned as a Foreign Service Officer by former Secretary of State Colin Powell and has served as foreign policy advisor to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. He wants to use his experience in Texas and bring equality, respect, and justice amongst communities.

ARUNA MILLER

Running for: U.S. Representative, District 6, Maryland

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections- Aruna Miller

43-year-old Miller is a Democratic member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 15. She was first elected to the chamber in 2010. Now she is seeking election to the U.S. House to represent the 6th Congressional District of Maryland. Miller has a degree in civil engineering but had a separate interest in politics. Miller campaign’s major priority is medicare, protecting the environment, jobs, and immigration reform.

RADHAKRISHNAN MOHAN

Running For: U.S. House District 11, New York 

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian-American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections-RADHAKRISHNAN MOHAN

Having lived in the US for 28 years, Mohan who was born in Chittoor is a labor union representative for 2000 working people. He lives in Staten Island and is a member of the Staten Island Hindu Temple Board and likes working with youngsters to raise funds for charities. Mohan will be facing fellow Indian-American Omar Vaid for the US House of Rep.

SAIRA RAO

Running for: U.S. Rep., District 1, Colorado

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian-American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections-SAIRA RAO

Being a law graduate and a mother, Rao is a co-founder and Creative Director of In This Together Media, a book packaging company of children’s fiction and launched a slew of young adult and children book that features race, sexual orientation and immigrant kids as central characters. She is the author of ‘Chambermaid’ and ‘The Madlands’. Her motto is ‘your story, our fight’. If elected, she pledges to hire a bilingual staff, expand constituent services to include job networking and support, open a satellite office for community events, and live in the district, not in D.C. Rao’s fate lies in the results of the primary, which will take place on June 26.

OMAR VAID

Running for: U.S. Rep, District 11 New York

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian-American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections-OMAR VAID

Vaid is the son of Gujarati immigrant and grew up in Illinois and Florida. He believes that diversity is an asset and that all voices must be included. He is currently working in the movie industry. He will be up against Radhakrishna Mohan, among other candidates, in the Democratic primary

ARVIN VOHRA

Running for: U.S. Senate, Maryland

Party: Libertarian

Ethnicity: Indian American

Arvin Vohra is a 2018 Libertarian candidate seeking election to the U.S. Senate from Maryland. He is an educator and current vice-chairman of the Libertarian National Committee. Vohra wants to downsize the involvement of the US in foreign civil wars and bring troops home. He wants to help students to become more capable, intelligent, and confident.

AMI BERA

Running for: U.S. Representative, District 7, California

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections-Ami Bera

Hollywood bred Ami Bera is a Democratic member of the U.S. House representing the 7th Congressional District of California. He was first elected in 2012. Bera is running for re-election in 2018. The primary election took place on June 5, 2018. Bera defeated Republican Scott Jones in his bid for re-election in 2016. Being in the medical career, his experience in working for the community makes him consider that Congress is a place for service.

RO KHANNA

Running for: U.S. Representative, District 17, California

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

Ro is a member of U.S. House representing District 17 of California and was first elected in 2016 and is running for re-election. Khanna is a former U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary and is a law graduate from Yale. Prior to serving in Congress, Rep. Khanna taught economics at Stanford University. He wrote the book ‘Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America’s Future’ and worked as a lawyer specializing in intellectual property law. Khanna served in President Barack Obama’s administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to the California Workforce Investment Board.

AMOL JETHWANI

Running for: U.S. Representative, District 21, Florida

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections- amol jethwani

Jethwani is the young Indian-American, raised in Florida has done his political science major from the University of Florida. Amol was drawn to politics at an early age and has been a fierce campus activist and a community organizer with a record of working to mobilize the youth vote. Amol is a progressive Democrat who believes it is time for a new generation of leaders to emerge. One of Amol’s missions is to take the rust off politics through reaching across the aisle while not abandoning his progressive values.

RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI

Running for: U.S. Representative, District 8, Illinois

Party: Democrat

Ethnicity: Indian American

south-asian-americans-all-set-to-slay-the-midterm-elections-RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHY

Raja Krishnamoorthi was elected to represent Illinois’ 8th Congressional District on November 8, 2016, and is serving his first term in the United States Congress. 43-year-old Raja grew up in Illinois believes the middle class upon which the democracy depends is shrinking. If he gets selected will be the first-ever Hindu of Indian origin to be elected to the United States House of Representatives from Peoria, a small town in Illinois. Raja is advocating policies to help working families, including equal pay, paid sick and maternity leave, raising the federal minimum wage and making college more affordable. Raja is also a staunch defender of women’s reproductive freedom.

We sure hope many among these will make it!

Pallavi Nair


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