Six Indian Americans bite the dust in US polls

November 3rd, 2010 - 4:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bobby Jindal By Arun Kumar
Washington, Nov 3 (IANS) Even as Republican Nikki Haley, a daughter of Sikh immigrant parents from Amritsar, became the first woman to win the governor’s race in South Carolina, six other Indian-Americans, all Democrats, bit the dust in the face of an anti-establishment vote.

In California, Democrat Kamala Harris, San Francisco district attorney, was trailing after giving a tough fight in Tuesday’s poll to Republican Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County district attorney, in the race for California attorney general.

A record half-dozen Indian Americans - all Democrats - mounted runs this year for the House of Representatives. Five of them lost Tuesday in districts in California, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The sixth, hedge fund lawyer Reshma Saujani lost in her primary challenge to nine-term Representative Carolyn Maloney in New York, but has vowed to run again in 2012.

Amerish “Ami” Bera, 45, a physician and medical school administrator was trailing to sitting Republican Congressman Dan Lungren in his California district despite raising more money than his rival.

Lawyer and State Representative, Raj Goyle, 35, of Wichita, Kansas conceded defeat to Republican Mike Pompeo who had received 59 percent votes to Goyle’s 36 percent half way through the count.

Attorney Ravi Sangisetty, 28, of Houma, Louisiana, lost to Republican Jeff Landry of New Iberia, who won 64 percent of the vote.

So did Manan Trivedi, a former Navy surgeon who served in the Iraq war as an officer in a unit which experienced the first war casualty, after posing a tough challenge to four time Representative Jim Gerlach in Pennsylvania’s 6th District.

Surya Yalamanchili, 28, a Procter & Gamble marketing executive in eastern Cincinnati, with just 34 percent votes failed to dislodge Republican Jean Schmidt (59 percent) seeking her third full term in Congress.

Only a couple of Indian-Americans have been elected to date to US Congress. The first was three-term Representative Dalip Singh Saund, who won back in 1956.

Then, for almost 50 years, there was no one else until Bobby Jindal, was elected to the House after his first failed run for governor of Louisiana. He left office in 2007 and went on to win the state’s top job.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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