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Record number of Indian Americans elected to statehouses across the country

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Among winners are six first-timers and a number of incumbents, including Maryland’s Kumar Barve, the longest serving Indian American legislator.

Indian Americans scored big victories in state legislatures from coast to coast on Tuesday, with six candidates from the community getting elected for the first time and a number of incumbents retaining their seats across the country.

The incumbents elected include Maryland Democrat Kumar Barve, the longest-serving Indian American lawmaker in the nation and several state senators and representatives.

Of the six newly elected lawmakers, three were elected to state Senates and three to statehouses.

The new state senators are Mujtaba Mohammed in North Carolina (State Senate District 38), Ram Villivalam in Illinois (State Senate District 8) and Kevin Thomas in New York State (Senate District 6).

With their victory, the number of Indian American state senators will increase to six. The three others serving in state senates are Manka Dhingra in the Washington state senate, Jay Chaudhuri in North Carolina and Vin Gopal in New Jersey. Dhingra and Chaudhuri were both re-elected on Tuesday.

Chaudhuri retained the 15th senate district with 73 percent of votes. His Republican rival received just 23 votes.

Dhingra was re-elected in the Washington’s 45th senate district.

The three Indian Americans elected to the statehouses for the first time on Tuesday are Nima Kulkarni in Kentucky (State House District 40), Amish Shah in Arizona (State House District 24) and Padma Kuppa in Michigan (State House District 41).

It was great night for all the Indian American incumbent state legislators.

Barve, who was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1990, was re-elected with more than 28,000 votes in Maryland.

In California, Democrat Ash Kalra, the first Indian American to serve in the state legislature, was re-elected in the 27th assembly district. Kalra, who was first elected from the San Jose-area district in 2016, received more than 72 percent of the votes.

“I am incredibly grateful to the San José voters of Assembly District 27 for sending me back to Sacramento!” He tweeted on Wednesday. “Your support means the world to me and I do not take this responsibility lightly. Back to work!”

In Ohio, Republican Niraj Antani was re-elected in the House District 42.

Antani, who was first elected in 2014, won with nearly 60 percent of the votes.

“I am so honored to have been re-elected again as your State Representative!” the Republican tweeted on Tuesday. “I feel very grateful for all of your support that propelled me the victory to serve another term in the Ohio House of Representatives. Together, we can make the American Dream achievable for all Ohioans!”

In Washington state, Democratic state Rep. Vandana Slatter was re-elected from the 48th district.

In Tennessee, Sabi “Doc” Kumar, a Republican, was easily re-elected to the state House of Representatives in District 66 with more than 72 percent votes.

According to the pro-Democratic Indian American Impact Fund, which endorsed a number of candidates, more than a hundred Indian Americans ran for various offices this year.


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