4 PIOs elected to Congress; Bera’s result goes for recounting


Washington:  An unprecedented ‘desi’ wave hit the US general elections as a record number of four Indian- Americans were today elected to the US Congress, while the fifth candidate’s election results have gone for recounting.

Indian-American women put up a good show in the 2016 elections, with Kamala Harris, 51, a two-term attorney general from California, creating history by winning the US Senate seat from the state.

Pramila Jayapal, 51, won the Congressional seat from Seattle to enter the House of Representatives, the first Indian-American woman to accomplish this feat.

Jayapal would be joined in the House of Representatives by Raja Krishnamoorthi, who made it to the highest citadel of democracy in their second attempt.

Ro Khanna, the democratic candidate from California s 17th District, defeated his party colleague Mike Honda by nearly 19 percentage points.

Meanwhile, Democratic Congressman Ami Bera’s election results have gone for recounting. Bera was contesting against Republican Scott Jones for the House of Representatives.

“I have full confidence that the professionals who work at the Sacramento County Registrar will ensure that every ballot is counted, and right now we need to let them do their job,” said Bera.

“As the first votes were counted on Election Day, I had the greatest lead I’ve ever had at this stage, so I’m confident that we’re again headed toward victory. After months of a divisive national election, our job starting tomorrow is to bring our country back together,” he said.

In 2012, and again in 2014, Bera’s race was too close to call on election night. In both years, Bera emerged as the winner — in 2012 by a margin of 9,191, and in 2014 by a margin of 1,455 votes — after the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters counted these provisional and vote by mail ballots.

If re-elected for the third term, Bera would equal the record of Dalip Singh Saund, who was elected to the House of Representatives from the 29th Congressional District of California from January 1957 to January 1963.

Jindal, who later went on to become the two-term Governor of Louisiana, was elected to the US House of Representatives twice in 2004 and 2006.

Outgoing US President Barack Obama had endorsed Harris, Krishnamoorthi and Bera. Senator Bernie Sanders and former US President Jimmy Carter had endorsed Jayapal.

Harris, who was born in Oakland, California, is the daughter of an Indian mother who emigrated from Chennai in 1960 and a Jamaican American father.

California Democrats had overwhelmingly endorsed Harris for US Senate, solidifying her front-runner status in the race to become California s next Senator.

Endorsing Harris, Obama had said “Kamala Harris fights for us. Thats why I am so proud to endorse her for United States Senator. And if you send her to the Senate, she’ll be a fearless fighter for the people of California, all the people of California, every single day.”