Indian Americans make solid gains in November 7 elections

NJ State Assemblyman Raj Mukherji wins in race for NJ State Senate. PHOTO: Twitter @Rajmukherji

Many Indian-American candidates nationwide not only secured victories in the 2023 US gubernatorial, state legislature, and local elections, but a few also achieved historic milestones by becoming the first Indian-Americans elected to their respective positions.

NJ Assemblyman Raj Mukherji got elected to the State Senate to represent District 32, after having served several terms in the lower house. Now there are two Indian American State Senators in New Jersey, with Vin Gopal re-elected.

NJ Assemblyman Raj Mukherji won by huge margin garnering 82 percent of vote to be elected to NJ State Senate. PHOTO: Twitter @RajMukherji

Welcoming Mukherji, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeted, “Building a strong Democratic Party means supporting a new generation of leaders in our Legislature,” and he looked forward to having Mukherji in the State Senate. Thanking Governor Murphy, Mukherji responded, “Midterm wins across the state serve as a resounding referendum on your leadership over the past six years.”

NJ State Senator Vin Gopal wins re-election by big margin. PHOTO: Twitter @vingopal

Incumbent State Senator Gopal of Monmouth County secured a decisive victory for a third consecutive term in a tightly contested race. “What we did tonight in Monmouth County is we drew political parties together to bring this massive landslide. If that doesn’t send a message to our opposition, I don’t know what will,” Gopal told his supporters on the night of November 7, in Long Branch, according to New Jersey Monitor.

New York City Councilmember for District 25, Shekar Krishnan also won his re-election race. Congratulating Krishnan, New American Leaders, a group, tweeted, “He is a staunch defender of justice and is committed to ensuring his constituents’ rights to green space. We’re excited to see what he’ll accomplish next term!”

Suhas Subramanyam. PHOTO: @SuhasforVA

In Virginia, Suhas Subramanyam, who was elected as the State Senator for District 32, told News India Times, “I am so grateful to the people of Loudoun County for coming out to vote and for sending me back to Richmond as the State Senator for District 32. The results of this election show that Loudoun believes in a positive vision for the future and policies that affect real change. This election also brought historic victories for South Asian candidates, improving our community’s representation in the General Assembly.”

“I am excited to continue to serve this community and deliver legislative victories for Virginia families. In the State Senate, I plan to fight to fully fund our schools, to address rising costs for housing, healthcare, and utilities, and to defend our democracy,” added Subramanyam who previously served as a Virginia State Delegate.

Subramanyam noted that he is committed to serving Loudoun County as it is what this community rightfully deserves. He went on to say that the chance to represent SD-32 is an honor and humbling as this is where his family first started building their American dream.

Kannan Srinivasan. PHOTO: Kannan Srinivasan

Another candidate, Kannan Srinivasan won a House of Delegates seat in District 26 to represent parts of Eastern Loudoun County in Virginia. Srinivasan who immigrated to US in 1992 to pursue a higher education told News India Times, “I am humbled and honored to be the first Indian American immigrant elected to the Virginia House of Delegates,” and that he is looking forward to serving residents of his district and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Seema Dixit. PHOTO: Twitter @SeemaDixit4FCPS

Seema Dixit was elected to a school board position in Sully district, Fairfax County, Virginia. Dixit said, “I’m humbled that voters across the Sully District have placed their trust in me. I am honored to represent our community on School Board and will work tirelessly to face the challenges ahead.”

In Pennsylvania, Neil Makhija, who contested as the Montgomery County Commissioner made history to become the first Indian-American Commissioner in the state.

Neil Makhija. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

Makhija told News India Times, “I’m thrilled and honored to be the first Indian-American ever to serve as a County Commissioner in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In January, I’ll be representing over 850,000 people, larger than a congressional district. It will be the district with the highest per percentage Asian American population in the Commonwealth.”

Makhija further added that he will have the opportunity to protect the right to vote, administering the elections in 2024, and “oversee a billion-dollar budget and 3000 employees across Human Services, the courts, the criminal justice system, infrastructure and public health in Montgomery County.”

In Michigan, congratulating Kerry Ebersole Singh for her win as a Council Member for the City of East Lansing, Michigan State Senator Sam Singh tweeted, “Well it’s a wrap. Kerry crushed it tonight. Congratulations Council Member Kerry Ebersole Singh!!”

Priya Tamilarasan PHOTO:

In Ohio, Priya Tamilarasan, who was elected as the City Attorney in Gahanna, became the first woman ever elected to this seat.

Other candidates who ran strong campaigns but did not secure a seat include Rishi Bagga from Florida, and Puja Khanna from Virginia.

Democratic Candidate for Florida House District 35, Bagga tweeted, “Thanks so much for all the kind messages and calls this morning; promise I’ll get to them all! Even though we didn’t win, I am proud of the race we ran. I have a LOT more to say…”

Sharing similar sentiments, Khanna, who ran for Dulles District Supervisor in Loudoun County, told News India Times, “I am proud of the campaign we ran. It was always about making a difference in the community and like always I will stay engaged and keep fighting the good fight.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here