Indian-American wins Democratic primary in Michigan’ 13th District

Michigan State Rep. Shri Thanedar, won the August 2, 2022, Democratic primary in his bid for the U.S. Congress from the 13th District, Photo: Twitter @ShriThanedar

Indian-American candidate for U.S. Congress from the 13th District in Michigan, Shri Thanedar, won the Democratic primary August 2, 2022.

Thanedar, who has been in the State House of Representatives since 2021, will now be pitted against Republican Martell Bivings in the Nov. 8 general election. The Cook Political Report considers District 13 as safely and solidly Democratic. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib represented the 13th in the U.S. Congress but is now running from Michigan’s 12th District where she also won the Democratic primary Aug. 2.


An entrepreneur and author, Thanedar beat out 7 other Democrats to win the primary. He considers economic inequality as the “largest challenge” in representing the 13th district.

According to Indian American Impact “Despite SuperPACs spending over $6.5 million in an unprecedented financial push to keep Thanedar off the November ballot, Shri and his campaign manager — former Indian American Impact political director, Linto Thomas — were successful in securing Shri’s victory over the Detroit area.”

Thanedar says he was born and brought up in a poor family of 10 in India, “where I remember going to the river to get drinking water. After my father retired, it fell to me to care for my family, so I worked as a janitor while in college.”

He came to the U.S. at the age of 24, according to his bio on the campaign website.

Starting as a teaching assistant in 1979, “My $300 monthly salary wasn’t much to live on – especially after sending $75 each month to help my family still living in India. But through hard work and a little bit of luck, I was able to earn an MBA and a PhD in Chemistry,” he says.

After graduation he worked as a research scholar at the University of Michigan.

But his “real passion” was for being an entrepreneur, and over the last 25 years he has built several small businesses. His answers to Ballotpedia’s questionnaire show he was CEO and owner of Chemir Analytical Services, chairman and owner of Azopharma Contract Phamaceutical Services, and founder and co-owner of Analytical Services. He is also enrolled as a post-doctoral research scholar with the University of Michigan, having earned his PhD from the University of Akron in 1982 and an M.B.A. from Fontbonne University in 1988.

He is most proud of creating “more than 500 well-paying jobs that helped families.”

He has been recognized three times as “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst and Young.

“Shri Thanedar’s primary win is a historic first for the South Asian community. We at Indian American Impact congratulate Shri and his campaign manager, Linto Thomas, for executing a powerful campaign and moving forward Shri’s candidacy for Congressman in Detroit, Michigan, Neil Makhija, executive director of Indian American Impact is quoted saying in a press release Aug. 3.

“It has been an incredible campaign, and I am so grateful to have your support. Thank you to my amazing team, my family, and the volunteers who helped make this campaign successful,” Thanedar tweeted Aug. 3 which the primary results were declared.

“As a politically underrepresented and under-engaged community, Indian Americans nationwide are celebrating Shri’s victory. Every seemingly small win throughout the country establishes immeasurable progress in our battle to expand Indian American representation within our elected government,” Makhija said, adding, “What happens in primaries over the course of this year matters, and the work we do to elect politicians that look and think like us creates the foundation necessary for our community to participate in conversations we’ve been excluded from for far too long.”



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