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Rediff.com  » News » US midterm elections: Haley, Bera, Khanna lead Indian-American push

US midterm elections: Haley, Bera, Khanna lead Indian-American push

November 04, 2014 15:32 IST

More than two dozen Indian-Americans are in electoral fray for the crucial US elections, but all eyes would be on three young leaders -- South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Congressmen Ami Bera and Ro Khanna, who have made a mark in the country's politics.

The results of the elections will start flowing in on Wednesday morning. The three million small but strong Indian-American community has pinned its hope on Haley, Bera and Khanna.

The elections range from state governorship to the House of Representatives, state legislatures and city council seats.

Topping the list is Haley, who is seeking her second term as governor of South Carolina.

Nikki Haley is set to be re-elected for a second term as Governor of South Carolina.

A rising Republican star, top leaders of the party including several presidential hopefuls -- former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Louisiana Governor and fellow Indian-American Bobby Jindal -- have campaigned for her.

If opinion polls are to be believed, Haley is all set for her re-election. In fact, she is so confident of her victory that Haley has already planned for her maiden trip to India as South Carolina governor soon after her electoral win.

Political pundits say her re-election would bring her on the national platform.

Of the four Indian-American Congressional candidates, three -- Bera and Khanna from California and Manan Trivedi from Pennsylvania -- are from the Democratic Party, while Arvin Vohra from Maryland is seeking entry into the House of Representatives on a Libertarian Party ticket.

Bera, a physician by profession, was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, making him only the third Indian-American Congressmen after Dalip Sing Saund and Bobby Jindal.

Ami Bera's campaign received a last minute boost from the support he garnered from Michelle Obama.

Bera, who had won the 2012 elections by a small margin, received a last minute boost to his campaign on Monday with the First Lady Michelle Obama, recording a phone call in his favour.

Last week, former US President Bill Clinton had campaigned for Bera. On the eve of the elections, Bing predicted Bera having a 62 per cent chance of winning the elections.

Nationwide, all eyes would be glued on young Democratic leader, Rohit ‘Ro’ Khanna, who has hired the services of the Obama re-election campaign to challenge his own partyman Mike Honda from 17th Congressional District of California, which is the hub of the Silicon Valley.

Ro Khanna has hired the services of the Obama re-election campaign for his own campaign in the heart of the Silicon Valley.

In the closing days of the campaign, latest opinion polls showed Khanna and Honda were running neck and neck, with the latter having an edge over the Indian-American. Republican Neel Keshkari is running an impressive gubernatorial campaign in the Democratic bastion of California.

There are slim chances of him winning the elections even though he did get endorsement of top Republican leaders including Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate.

Veteran Iraq war veteran Manan Trivedi is trying his luck for the third time, but opinion polls are not giving him any chance of winning the elections.

Three time contestee Manan Trivedi is an Iraq war veteran.

The same is the case with 35-year-old Arvin Vohra from Maryland who is seeking entry into the House of Representatives on a Libertarian Party ticket.

Incumbent California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who was first elected in 2010 is running for re-election against Republican candidate Ronald Gold. She is expected to win her second four-year term.

There are quite a few Indian-American candidates running for State legislatures.

Kumar Barve from Maryland is trying to be reelected on a Democratic Party ticket.

Incumbents Kumar Barve from Maryland, retired physician Janak Joshi from Colorado, Prasad Srinivasan from Connecticut, Democrat Sam Singh of Michigan, Latha Manigpudi from New Hampshire and Aruna Miller and Sam Arora from Maryland are seeking their re-election.

Several Indian Americans are trying their luck to enter their State legislatures.

Prasad Srinivasan is a Republican member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing District 31. 

This includes Republican Anand Dubey in the far away Alaska and Michael Gidwani from Arizona, independent Shakoor Ahmed and Republican Jody Venkatesan from Maryland, Becky Sharma from Missouri, Nalin Mehta from North Carolina as well as Pramila Jayapal and Satpal Sidhu from Washington State.

If elected, the 23-year-old Niraj Antani would be the youngest ever member to be elected to the OhioState legislature.

In Illinois, three Indian-Americans are seeking their luck for state legislature. They are Krishna Bansal, Mo Khan and Laddi Singh -- all from the Democratic Party.

Lalit K Jha in Washington