Mona Das to join Sen. Manka Dhingra and Rep. Vandana Slatter in the Washington State Legislature.
Businesswoman Mona Das has become the second Indian American woman elected to the Washington State Senate after Tuesday’s election. The Democrat defeated the incumbent Republican Joe Fain in a highly competitive race in the 47th district by 548 votes.
According to the official results posted on the website of the state secretary of state, Das, a mortgage business owner, received 27,303 votes (50.15 percent). Fain’s tally was 26,755 votes (49.49 percent.)
“It’s official! I have the proud honor of being Senator-elect of the wonderful 47th district of WA State!” Das wrote in a post on her Facebook page on Saturday, after the Republican conceded on Friday night. “I can’t even begin to thank the thousands of people who stepped up to help on this journey.”
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With her victory, the number of Indian American women serving in the Washington State Legislature will increase to three. The other tow are Democratic Sen. Manka Dhingra and Rep. Vandana Slatter, also a Democrat.
Dhingra, who was first elected in a special election last year, was re-elected from the 37th district. Slatter was re-elected from the 48th district on Tuesday.
It will be the first time in US history that three Indian American women will be serving at a state legislature at the same time. It will the second time three Indian Americans will be serving in a state legislature. From January 2011 to January 2015, three Indian Americans had served in the Maryland House of Delegates: Kumar Barve, Sam Arora and Aruna Miller.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who was re-elected to US Congress from the state’s 7th congressional district, had served in the state Senate from January 2015 to December 2016.
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Das wrote on her Facebook page that the “real work begins now” and she is looking “forward to working with my new colleagues in the Senate and House to make sure every Washingtonian has access to healthcare, education, an affordable place to live and can live in a state where they are accepted for who they are.”
Education and healthcare are two of the issues she campaigned heavily on.
The Democrat had initially decided to run for US Congress from the state’s 8th congressional district, but subsequently pulled out from the primary chose to challenge Fain.
Das was born in India and came to the United States when she was 8 months old, along with her parents who immigrated to this country.
Das attended the University of Cincinnati where she earned her BA in psychology. She later moved to the Pacific Northwest where she established herself as a successful businesswoman and tech leader. She went back to school in 2012 to earn a MBA in sustainable business at Pinchot University.