Three Democratic Party candidates of Indian origin were elected to the United States Congress on Wednesday. Kamala Harris won the California seat in the US Senate, making her the first Indian-American to win a seat to the Upper House, Los Angeles Times reported. Pramila Jayapal won the Washington seat in the House of Representatives, becoming the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the Lower House, while Raja Krishnamoorthi was elected to the Illinois seat.
Harris, born to Indian and Jamaican parents, also made history as the first black politician to represent California in the US Senate. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, had immigrated to the US from Chennai to study endocrinology and cancer, while her father was a Jamaican scholar studying economics in America. The 51-year-old attorney general defeated fellow Democratic rival Loretta Sanchez.
Before the results of the US presidential elections were announced, Jayapal had said that her win against Brady Walkinshaw would mean "a light in the darkness" under a Donald Trump regime, The Seattle Times reported. The 52-year-old is an activist for immigrant rights who had secured the support of Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party rival Bernie Sanders.
New Delhi-born Krishnamoorthi is the president of Sivananthan Labs and Episolar, which develops products in national security and renewable energy industries. The 43-year-old is also the co-founder of non-profit organisation InSPIRE, which facilitates students with training in solar technology. He was endorsed by President Barack Obama. Krishnamoorthi on Twitter said, "Thank you! I'm honored and humbled to be the next Congressman of Illinois' 8th District! #IL08."
This was Krishnamoorthi's second attempt to win the Illinois seat. He served as policy director and senior advisor on Obama's 2004 US Senate campaign.
Other Indian-Americans elected to the House of Representatives in the past are Bobby Jindal, Dr Ami Bera and Dalip Singh Soundh.