Indian Americans Sri Kulkarni and Hiral Tipirneni gaining midterm momentum

Sri Preston Kulkarni
Sri Preston Kulkarni

Cook Political Report shifts ratings toward Democrats in Arizona 08 and Texas 22 congressional districts.

With just 13 days left for the midterm, Indian American Democrats Sri Preston Kulkarni and Dr. Hiral Tipirneni are gaining momentum in their respective congressional races against GOP incumbents.

Their two districts are among the eight races shifted by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report toward the Democrats, when it updated its ratings on Tuesday. The forecaster moved two races toward Republicans.

Kulkarnia, a former US diplomat, is facing Rep. Ted Olsen in Texas 22, which has been a reliably Republican district.

On Tuesday, Cook moved the district from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican.”

Cook defines “Likely” districts as ones “not considered competitive at this point, but have the potential to become engaged.”

“Lean” seats are districts that are “considered competitive races, but one party has an advantage.”

Dr. Hiral Tipirneni
Dr. Hiral Tipirneni

Until this week, Tipirneni’s district, Arizon 8th, was considered a “solid Republican” seat. That changed on Tuesday, when it was moved to “Likely Republican.”

Tipirneni, a physician, is up against Rep. Debbie Lesko, who had defeated the Indian American in a special election earlier this year.

Cook’s rating change came following the release of the third quarter fundraising reports, which showed that Tipirneni raised twice the amount that Lesko raised.

Ohio’s first district is another closely watched race, where Indian American Aftab Pureval is trying to unseat incumbent Republican Steve Chabot. The seat is considered a “toss-up”, meaning either candidate has a good chance of winning.

Pureval, a rising star in Ohio’s Democratic politics, has been endorsed by former President Barack Obama.


Indian Americans Sri Kulkarni, Chintan Desai win Democratic congressional primaries (May 23, 2018)

Indian American Impact Fund endorses Sri Kulkarni and Hiral Tipirneni (March 28, 2018)

Former US diplomat Sri Preston Kulkarni tries to become Texas’ first Indian American congressman (January 21, 2018)

Former US ambassador to India Richard Verma pitches in for Sri Kulkarni (September 19, 2018)

Indian American Dems Hiral Tipirneni, Sanjay Patel win congressional primaries unopposed, Anita Malik’s race is too close to call (August 29, 2018)

Indian American Dr. Hiral Tipirneni wins Democratic primary for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District (February 28, 2018)

AAPI Victory Fund urges Indian Americans to back Hiral Tipirneni in Arizona 8th district special election (December 29, 2017)

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