He is one of the two Indian American Democrats who will be on ballots in November, with a chance to become the first Indian Americans to serve in Virginia state legislature.
(Editor’s note: This post was updated on June 13, 2019.)
Indian American Suhas Subramanyam has secured the Democratic nomination for the 87th District of the Virginia House of Delegates.
The former White House technology policy advisor won a four-way race by polling more than 47 percent of the votes. He received 3,050 votes, while his nearest opponent Hassan Ahmad, a Pakistani American, polled 1,500 votes.
Another Indian American who ran for the district, Akshay Bhamidipati, finished third.
“I’m so thankful for the hard work our team and volunteers put in,” Subramanyam told The American Bazaar on Tuesday night after coasting to victory. “We showed tonight that what matters most is giving people a voice and addressing the issues that matter to them. I thank the other candidates who ran and look forward to to continuing our momentum in the November general election.
Besides Subramanyam, another Indian American Democrat will also be in November ballot. In the State Senate’s 10th District, educator Ghazala Hashmi secured the Democratic nomination by winning more than 49 percent of votes.
In another key race, Indian American civil rights and immigration lawyer Veena Lothe lost to Del. Debra Rodman in the Democratic primary for Virginia’s 12th Senate District, a Richmond suburb.
Subramanyam’s 87th district had attracted national headlines as all the four candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for the open seat were first generation Americans.
Incumbent Democrat John Bell is running for the Virginia State Senate from District 13. He had endorsed Subramanyam, who served as a Policy Advisor and Special Assistant for Technology Policy at the White House Technology Task Force in the Obama administration from August 2015 to March 2017.
Subramanyam had entered the race on August 28, 2018, a day after Bell made his Senate run announcement.
If elected — and he will start as the favorite to win the seat — Subramanyam will become the first Indian American to serve in the Virginia legislature. (Hashmi will also have the same distinction, if she wins.)
Subramanyam’s 87th District has been in Democratic hands since Bell first won in 2015.
The district, a suburb of Washington, DC, falls mostly in Loudoun County. A small part is also in Prince William County.
Loudoun, the richest county in the nation, and Prince William, the 19th richest, have a large number of Indian American voters.
“The Indian American community makes up a large portion of the state’s and district’s population, and I believe that our community deserves someone in power that can stand up for our unique experiences and challenges,” Subramanyam had told the American Bazaar in an interview recently. “As a first generation Indian American, this country has given my family so many opportunities that we would not have otherwise had. I want to ensure that every family has those same opportunities.”
Subramanyam, son of two Indian American physicians, is running on bread and butter issues, promising to improve infrastructure and schools, and address income inequality in District 87.
“I am running because we have important decisions to make about the future of our community and country, and I want voters, not special interests and powers that seek to divide us, to make them,” he said in the recent interview. “I have spent much of my career empowering those without a voice, and I’m ready to take that experience to Richmond to help us all create a better future for our families and community.”