With Vice President-elect Kamala Harris vacating the senate seat in California, one name that the Indian-American community is vouching for is no other than Congressman Ro Khanna.
Harris will be sworn in as vice president on Jan. 20 and Governor Newsom of California has said he has no timeline to make an announcement on who will fill her seat. Every community seems to be pushing their candidate,—Black California lawmakers have organized a lobbying drive behind U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, whereas Hispanics voters are advocating for California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
Khanna, who represents California’s 17th Congressional District on the Nov. 3 General Election serving his third term has been endorsed by the IMPACT fund and hopes that Newsom appoints him over the dozens of names circulating for the position.
On November 12, the IMPACT Indian American advocacy and political action the committee released a press release stating they endorse Rep. Khanna to fill Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ seat in the U.S. Senate.
Neil Makhija, Executive Director of IMPACT, said “IMPACT urges Governor Newsom to consider Rep. Ro Khanna. He has the essential qualities to meet this moment: At a time when we are deeply divided, Ro has demonstrated an ability to bring together progressives, moderates, and even some Republicans. At a time when we need to ‘build back better,’ Ro brings a depth of expertise in manufacturing and tech. At a time when we face a soaring public health crisis, Ro has been a fierce advocate for universal, high-quality health care. Inspired to public service by his grandfather’s experience as a freedom fighter in India alongside Mahatma Gandhi, Ro will relentlessly defend our democratic values.”
Rep. Khanna sits on the Armed Services, Budget, and Oversight Committees and served in President Barack Obama’s administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Commerce before he decided to run for a congressional seat.
A graduate of the University of Chicago and Yale Law School, he also taught economics at Stanford University, law at Santa Clara University, and American jurisprudence at San Francisco State University.
Makhija, who made a name by raising $10 million in just three months to support the Biden-Harris campaign and see Indian Americans running for public offices said, “As an Indian American, Ro also represents the fastest growing community in California. As millions of Black and Brown children around the country see the promise of America in the new Vice President-elect, her replacement should offer the same hope and representation for Californians.”
“As Vice President-elect Harris has often said, she may have been the first but she won’t be the last. Governor Newsom has the opportunity to make sure she’s proven right with the selection of Ro Khanna as her replacement in the United States Senate.”