With his victory almost certain following a rare endorsement by US President Barack Obama, Indian-American Ami Bera hopes he would joined by at least one or a few other community members in the US Congress next year. Bera, the only elected Indian American in the current Congress, is seeking re-election from a challenging Congressional district in California for the third consecutive term.
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He has identified two others — Raja Krishnamoorthi from Chicago and Pramila Jayapal from Seattle — most likely to be elected to the US House of Representatives. “We are gearing up the opportunity to welcome at least one, may be two or three other Indian Americans to the Congress,” Bera said. “I mean Raja Krishnamoorthi in Chicago, certainly Kamala Harris would be the first Indian-American Senator and may be
Pramila Jayapal from Seattle. I think this could be a better year for Indian Americans,” Bera said.
Political pundits have favored Krishnamoorthi and Jayapal to win the House of Representatives elections in their November 8 general elections. Latest polls suggest that Harris has increased her lead over her nearest rival. Bera, 51, is facing a challenge from Republican Scott Jones, who was elected as Sheriff of the Sacramento County in 2010 and then reelected in 2014.
In both the previous two elections in 2012 and 2014, he was declared elected only after recounting of votes. Only the third-ever Indian American to have been elected to the House of Representatives after Dalip Singh Saund in 1950 and Bobby Jindal in 2000s, Bera made his maiden entry into the House of Representatives by defeating incumbent Dan Lungren by a little over 9,000 votes.
Bera received a big boost to his campaign this week after he was endorsed by President Barack Obama. “I’m proud to endorse Dr Ami Bera for the United States House of Representatives. In Congress, Ami has had my back as we’ve worked to make the country stronger, safer, and fairer for California families – and now I have his back,” Obama said in a statement.
“Ami is a fighter for the middle class, and knows we need to build on the economic progress that workers and businesses have made in recent years. Ami has stood with me as we work to keep our country safe, defend a woman’s right to choose, protect Social Security and Medicare, and make college
more affordable. I’ve counted on Ami, and Californians can, too,” Obama said in his rare endorsement.
Bera said he is honored to receive the endorsement of Obama.