Desi winners of 2020 mark many firsts

Top Row (from left to right) : Raghib Allie-Brennan, Niraj Antani, Harry Arora, Jay Chaudhuri, Jeremy Cooney, Nima Kulkarni, Padma Kuppa; Bottom Row: Latha Mangipudi, Ranjeev Puri, Indian American winners; Jenifer Rajkumar, Kesha Ram, Dr. Nikil Saval, Dr. Amish Shah and Vandana Slatter
Top Row (from left to right) : Raghib Allie-Brennan, Niraj Antani, Harry Arora, Jay Chaudhuri, Jeremy Cooney, Nima Kulkarni, Padma Kuppa;
Bottom Row: Latha Mangipudi, Ranjeev Puri, Jenifer Rajkumar, Kesha Ram, Dr. Nikil Saval, Dr. Amish Shah and Vandana Slatter

Six women among 20 winners in 13 states; All four US House members reelected.

Besides the historic election of Kamala Harris, the first woman of Indian descent as Vice President, a record number of Indian Americans, including five women won state level elections in 2020 scoring many firsts for the community.

All the four Democratic members of ‘Samosa Caucus’ of Indian American lawmakers were re-elected to the US House of Representatives.

As many as 20 Indian Americans were elected as state representatives and senators from 13 states. In addition, there are a few current representatives whose terms end in 2022 and 2023.

New York would have the highest number of Indian American lawmakers with two senators and two representatives, followed by Michigan and Washington with three representatives each.

New Jersey, Connecticut and North Carolina have two each and the rest have one each. Among the winners, three are Republicans, all others are Democrats.

Here is a state-wise list of Indian American winners of 2020:


Amish Shah, Democrat, a doctor who defeated incumbent Ken Clark in 2018, was reelected to the State House from District 24.


Ami Bera, 55, Democrat, the longest serving Indian American House member won his fifth consecutive term to the House from California. Son of immigrant parents from Gujarat, Bera is a physician by profession.

Ro Khanna, 44, Democrat, lawyer, academic defeated another Indian American challenger Ritesh Tandon of Republican Party to win a third consecutive term in the US House from California.

Ash Kalra, Democrat, was re-elected from California State Assembly’s 27th District for the third consecutive term.

Nithya Raman, 39, Indian American urban planner unseated Los Angeles City Councillor David Ryu in the 4th district. She will become the third woman of color to join the City Council.


Raghib Allie-Brennan, Democrat, elected to Connecticut House 2nd District

Harry Arora, Republican, elected to Connecticut House 151st District


Raja Krishnamoorthi, 47, Democrat, New Delhi-born lawyer defeated his Libertarian Party rival in Illinois to win a third term in US House.


Nima Kulkarni, Democrat, immigration attorney elected to Kentucky House’s 40th District.


Raaheela Ahmed , a young, first generation Muslim woman of Indian and Pakistani descent, reelected unopposed to the Prince George’s County Board of Education, District 5 for a second term.


Padma Kuppa, Democrat, elected from Michigan House’s 41st District. Kuppa was the first Indian immigrant and Hindu in the Michigan Legislature.

Ranjeev Puri, Democrat, elected from Michigan House’s 21st District.

Shri Thanedar, 65, Democrat millionaire businessman, scientist, elected from Michigan state House’s 3rd District.

New Hampshire

Latha Mangipudi, Democrat, elected to New Hampshire House’s 35th District

New York

Jeremy Cooney, Democrat from Rochester, New York, elected to State Senate district 56 defeating his Republican rival Mike Barry.

He becomes the second Indian American to enter New York State Senate and the first Asian American to be elected to state office from upstate New York.

Kevin Thomas, Democrat, reelected to State Senate’s District 6. In 2018, Thomas became the first Indian American in New York’s history to serve in the State Senate.

Jenifer Rajkumar, 38, Democrat lawyer, became the first South Asian woman elected to the New York state assembly defeating her Republican rival Giovanni Perna in 38th District.

Zohran Mamdani, son of filmmaker Mira Nair, elected from New York State Assembly’s 36th District.

North Carolina

Jay Chaudhuri, Democrat, attorney and professor who in 2016 became the first Indian American state legislator, re-elected from State Senate’s District 15.

Mujtaba A. Mohammed, Democrat, elected from North Carolina Senate District 38.


Niraj Antani, 29, a Republican who in 2014 became the youngest member of the Ohio state house, elected as Ohio’s first Indian American state senator from District 6


Nikil Saval, Democrat, a writer and community organizer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, elected to District 1 of State Senate. He was the first Indian American elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly.


Sabi Kumar, Republican, elected to Tennessee House’s 66th District.


Ravi Sandill, who in November 2008 became the first judge of South Asian descent elected in Texas, was re-elected as District Judge in Harris County.


Kesha Ram, Democrat, who served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 2009 to 2016, became the first woman of color elected from Vermont State Senate’s Chittenden District.

Daughter of a Punjabi immigrant from India, she was one of the youngest ever to be elected to State Assembly at the age of 21.


Pramila Jayapal, 55, Democrat, Chennai-born civil rights activist, the first and the only Indian American woman in the US House, won a third consecutive term in the US House from Washington State.

Vandana Slatter, Democrat, a pharmacist, and scientist, elected from Washington State House’s 48th District


Jeremy Cooney becomes second Indian American to enter New York State Senate (November 18, 2020)

Meet Jeremy Cooney, newly elected Indian American NY state senator (Updated November, 18, 2018)

OPINION: A watershed moment for Indian Americans in 2020 (November 15, 2020)

Indian American urban planner Nithya Raman unseats LA City Councillor (November 9, 2020)

What Kamala Harris’ election means to me (November 9, 2020)

Raaheela Ahmed reelected Maryland county board of education member (November 6, 2020)

Indian Americans make a splash in yet another election cycle (November 5, 2020)

All four Indian American members of the US House of Representatives cruise to re-election (November 4, 2020)

Indian American Raja Krishnamoorthi re-elected to US House (November 4, 2020)

Niraj Antani becomes first Indian American Ohio state senator (November 4, 2020)

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