Ami Bera and Ro Khanna win Congressional primaries

Ami Bera and Ro Khanna win Congressional primaries

Among the losers was Peter Jacob, the Bernie-backed Congressional candidate in New Jersey


indica Washington Bureau


Indian-American US representatives Ami Bera and Ro Khanna won their respective primaries in California on Tuesday, while three Indians running for Congress in New Jersey — Hirsh Singh, Goutam Jois, and Peter Jacob – lost their Congressional bid at the primary level. “Indian American candidates Goutam Jois and Peter Jacob lost the primary in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District to former Obama Administration assistant secretary of state Tom Malinowski,” said Gautam Raghavan from the recently formed Impact Project, which is keeping track of some 80 Indian Americans running nationwide this election season.

Congressional elections are scheduled for November 6.

Bera, a three-time Congressman from the Seventh Congressional District of California, bagged more than 51 percent of the votes in the open primary. His closest rival, Republican Andrew Grant received 32.9 percent of the votes. In California the top two candidates, irrespective of their party affiliation in the open primary, head for the general elections for the House of Representatives.

Khanna, who entered the House of Representative for the first time in 2018, received an overwhelming 58.9 percent of the votes in the open primary for the 17th Congressional District of California. His closest rival, Republican Ron Cohen, received just short of 25 percent of the votes.

Coming from a strong Democratic bastion, both Bera and Khanna are expected to win the Congressional elections on November 6.

“Despite running an exciting insurgent campaign, Vivek Viswanathan came up short in his bid for California state treasurer,” Raghavan said.

Democrat Vivek Viswanathan got just 485,572 votes (12.8 percent) while the winner, his Democratic party colleague Fiona Ma, pulled in 43.3 percent of the votes. Indian American Shubham Goel, who stood for governor, received just 0.1 percent of the votes in the primary for the Governor of California.

In New Jersey, the primary results were a big setback for front-runner Hirsh Singh in the Second Congressional District. He lost to fellow Republican Seth Grossman which local media described as a “stunning” upset. Grossman takes on Jeff Van Drew, a conservative Democrat who is expected to win, replacing retiring US representative Frank LoBiondo.

In the Seventh Congressional District of New Jersey, two Indian Americans, Peter Jacob and Goutam Jois, received 7,474 (19.14 percent) and 5,489 votes (14.05 percent) respectively of the votes in the Democratic primary. Tom Malinowski won the primary with 66.80 percent of the votes.

Peter Jacob had the endorsement of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

In Iowa’s Ninth District, Megan Srinivas won the Democratic nomination uncontested. She will face Ann Meyer. They are contesting for the seat being vacated by eight-term State Representative Helen Miller.

“We were pleased that Dr. Megan Srinivas won her primary election for Iowa State House. She was unopposed in her primary but then she is a rising star and a very talented candidate and public servant,” Raghavan said.


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