Washington: At least 10 Indian-Americans, almost all of them Democrats, have won local and state level elections held in several parts of the country, reflecting the growing political empowerment of the ethnic community that constitutes a little over one percent of the US' population.
In Virginia, Hyderabad-born Ghazala Hashmi was re-elected to the State Senate for a third consecutive term. She was the first-ever Indian-American woman and a Muslim to be elected to the Virginia State legislation.
Suhas Subramanyam was re-elected to the Virginia State Senate. He was elected to the House of Delegates for two terms in 2019 and 2021. A former technology policy advisor in the White House during the Obama Administration, Houston-born Subramanian is the first Hindu to be elected to the Virginia House.
Business leader Kannan Srinivasan, who immigrated from India in the 90s, was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates from the India-American dominated Loudon County area. All the three winners in Virginia are from the Democratic party as are the three winners from New Jersey.
In New Jersey, Indian Americans Vin Gopal and Raj Mukherji, both from the Democratic Party, were elected to the State Senate. Indian-American Balvir Singh, a teacher, was re-elected to New Jersey's Burlington County Board of County Commissioner.
In Pennsylvania, Neil Makhija, a Democratic, won the coveted position of Montgomery County Commissioner, while Indian-American physician Dr. Anita Joshi won the West District seat for Carmel City Council seat in Indiana.
Makhija is the first-ever Indian American or AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) to serve on a county's board of commissioners in the Commonwealth's 342-year history. Dr Joshi is the only Democrat to have won in the Republican bastion.
Born and raised in the United States, India-American Priya Tamilarasan won the election for Gahanna City Attorney in Ohio.
Non-profit Land Bank CEO Arunan Arulampalam of Indian origin who immigrated from Zimbabwe was elected as the Mayor of Hartford in Connecticut.
After their electoral victories, all the 10 Indian-American candidates pledged to work for their constituents.
"I am incredibly grateful and humbled by the voters' faith in our vision for a proactive approach to protecting our voting rights, keeping guns off our streets, and working to ensure that Montgomery County remains a great place to live and raise a family for all," said Makhija.
As the Montgomery County Commissioner, Makhija will oversee a USD1B budget and 3,000 employees including elections, courts, district attorney's office, public health departments, and public infrastructure.
"Tonight's results show that our community wants leadership that will take on tough fights to stand up for our democracy, stand up for our rights, and ensure that every voice is heard," said Suhas Subramanyam.
"Today, we celebrate a victory for the values we hold dear inclusivity, protecting women's productive rights, common gun safety laws, quality healthcare for all, excellence in education and a brighter future for our commonwealth, said Srinivasan Kannan.
"I am so honored to be elected as the next Gahanna City Attorney. I am committed to serving the City of Gahanna and all its residents to the best of my ability. Thank you for this opportunity," said Tamilrasan after her electoral victory.
"Hope in the midst of darkness, hope in the midst of division, hope in the midst of difficulty, hope that in this city, we can build that kind of investment ... in every neighborhood across the city, hope that all of our kids can have access to good quality education and safe places to be, hope that all of us can feel safe in our communities, hope that all of us can have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing in every single neighborhood in this city," Arulampalam said in his victory speech.
"We've made incredible progress in the last four years, and we still have so much to do. We will continue to fight for our collective future and for a Virginia that is more equitable, more just, and more compassionate. I am humbled by the trust voters and supporters have placed in me. It's time to focus now on the next four years," Virginia State Senator Ghazala Hashmi said.
"Since day one, we have been on the ground putting in the work, meeting voters at doorsteps and diners, having real conversations about the issues they face, and showing up for Monmouth County, Vin Gopal said after his electoral victory in New Jersey.