Incumbent Ami Bera humbled in California; Ro Khanna falls short.
This post has been updated.
By Sujeet Rajan
WASHINGTON, DC: Three Indian American candidates vying for the US House of Representatives lost their bids, while incumbent Ami Bera, the Democrat from California, retained. Bera defeated his Republican opponent Doug Ose by more than 1,400 votes. The race wasn’t called until November 19.
Bera had come under tremendous pressure in the days leading up to election day, as the GOP targeted District 7 in California for an upset and Ose got a generous dose of funds to fuel his war chest.
Bera’s thrust for retaining his seat came in the form of the former President Bill Clinton campaigning for him, as the Democrats tried to salvage the situation. On the election day, Ose led Bera 56, 284 (51.37% of the vote) to Bera’s 53, 273 (48.63% of the vote).
The other desi hope in California, Democrat newcomer Ro Khanna, had slowly crept up in popularity to make it a credible challenge against veteran incumbent congressman Mike Honda, in District 17, and both the Democrat camps knew going into the polls on Tuesday that it was anybody’s election as pollsters predicted a dead heat.
The district is home to Silicon Valley, and the only Asian American-majority district in the continental United States. It encompasses all or part of the cities of Cupertino, Fremont, Milpitas, Newark, Santa Clara, San Jose, and Sunnyvale.
However, when all the votes were in, Honda, who got the First Lady Michelle Obama’s endorsement in the final leg of the campaign, came victorious. Khanna did not concede until November 7. Honda has served Congress continuously since 2001.
In Pennsylvania, it was second time unlucky for physician and Iraq war veteran Manan Trivedi, as he lost the race to his Republican opponent Ryan Costello, a former lawyer, in District 6.
Costello got through comfortably garnering 118, 450 votes (56.23% of the vote), compared to Trivedi’s 92, 193 votes (43.77% of the votes).
In Maryland, the only Indian American Libertarian candidate making a pitch for Congress, Arvin Vohra, got a cruel taste of reality when he got just 1.45% of the votes polled, managing to get a meager 2,627 votes in a race where the incumbent Congresswoman Donna Edwards of the Democrat party crushed her opponents in the District 4 race.
Edwards got an overwhelming 126,633 votes (69.97% of the vote), versus her main opponent, Republican Nancy Hoyt, who managed only 51, 721 votes (28.58% of the vote).