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Indian American Manka Dhingra wins Washington State Senate primary from 45th District

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Dhingra defeated  her Republican rival Jinyoung Lee Englund

Manka Dhingra (Courtesy of twitter)

Indian American Democrat Manka Dhingra has won the August 1 primary for the state Senate seat in Washington’s 45th Legislative District, defeating her Republican rival Jinyoung Lee Englund.

The 42-year-old Sikh American garnered 51.05 percent votes while Englund got 42.11 percent votes and the independent candidate Parker Harris received 6.84 percent. The total number of votes (not including write-ins) is 28,612, in which Dhingra received 14,605. The other candidates got 12,049 and 1,958 votes respectively.

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The race was to fill the vacancy created last year by the death of Republican Sen. Andy Hill. Dino Rossi, who has twice been a GOP gubernatorial candidate, is filling the seat temporarily.With this victory, the Democrats have a chance to flip the state from red to blue. The Washington State Senate has 25 Democrats and 24 Republicans, but because of one renegade Democrat Tim Sheldon, the Republicans have control over the Legislature’s upper chamber.

Dhingra, a senior deputy King County Prosecutor since 2000, has announced her candidacy for the Eastside district earlier this year and this was her first run for public office.

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“To each and every member of the 45th district, thank you for voting!,” Dhingra said in a Facebook post. “Everyone at TeamManka is feeling the love from all corners of our beautiful district. We’ve still got a lot of work in front of us, onwards to the general!”

The India-born Dhingra moved to the United States at the age of 13. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a JD from the University Of Washington School Of Law.

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A longtime advocate for women and immigrant rights, Manka Dhingra co-founded Chaya (now API Chaya) and has since led the organization’s work to end systemic violence through education, prevention, and organization. She also served on the Seattle Police Department Muslim, Arab and Sikh Advisory Council to address hate crime issues in the region in the wake of 9/11. She has also worked in mental health and chairs the therapeutic alternative unit.

Dhingra is married to Harjit Singh, a Distinguished Engineer at SpaceX and a former Microsoft executive. The couple has two children who attend Redmond Middle School and Redmond High School.

Dhingra and Englund will again challenge each other in the general elections on November 7.