We are now less than twelve months away from the next big election, the 2010 Midterm Elections. Another election? I know, I know. It feels a little too soon. But on November 2, 2010 elections will be held for at least 36 of the 100 seats for US Senate, all 435 seats for the US House of Representative, and a Governor’s race in 36 states.
This election is particularly significant because there are six South Asian candidates running for a seat in US Congress. To give a little context, the first person of Indian origin to hold a congressional seat was Dalip Singh Saund (D-CA) who served representing California from 1953-1967. the next one didn’t get elected until almost 50 years later. It was Bobby Jindal (R-LA), who served from 2004 – 2007, after which he got elected as Governor for Louisiana.
Here’s the congressional candidate run through: Raj Goyle (D-KS), Manan Trivedi, (D- PA), Ami Bera (D-CA), Ravi Sangisetty (D-LA), Reshma Sejauni (D- NY) and Surya Yalamanchili (I-OH). And they are all YOUNG, ranging in age from 27 to 40 yrs old.
Raj Goyle – Kansas, 4th Congressional District
Represents the 87th District of Kansas House of Representatives since 2007. Attorney and a lecturer at Wichita State University. (Past SM post here.)
Raj graduated from Duke University and then Harvard Law School where in addition to his legal studies, he founded a technology company with two classmates that taught him the importance of entrepreneurship.After law school, Raj clerked for a federal judge and then as an advocate for better schools, improved voting rights for the disabled, and as an expert on homeland security issues. [rajforkansas]
Dr. Amerish ‘Ami’ Bera – California, 3rd Congressional District
Physician and former chief medical officer of Sacramento County’s Primary Health Care system.
The core planks of my campaign are as follows – We must build a health care system that has a compassionate baseline that is available and accessible for every American. Second, we must rebuild our educational system to teach students to think and make sure it’s flexible enough to allow for many career paths, from trades, to technology, to college. Third, we must create an economy that rewards employment and creates career pathways that allow for a secure and sustainable future over a lifetime. And last, we must have an environmental and energy policy that builds for generations to come. [ssvms]
Reshma Saujani – New York, 14th Congressional District
Lawyer, community activist (and former SAAVY board member!)
She’s the daughter of immigrants who fled from violence in Uganda, and has degrees from Harvard and Yale. Saujani reportedly interned in the White House at the same time as Monica Lewinsky. By the age of 28, Saujani had established herself politically as an effective fund-raiser for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. At the time, she was quoted as saying, “I’ll be into active politics myself in a few years. I hope to become a Senator someday.” [nyobserver] Surya Yalamanchili – Ohio, 2nd Congressional District
Former marketing director at LinkedIn and past reality show contestant on The Apprentice
Mr. Yalamanchili, 28, has returned to Cincinnati to run as an independent…His “Apprentice” fame has helped an independent and seeming long shot secure a feature on the front page of CQpolitics.com. Given his background, he hopes to use social media, but he’s planning plenty of traditional flesh-pressing, too. His campaign website, VoteChili.com, is a play both on his name and Cincinnati’s affection for its own style of chili…Mr. Yalamanchili looks to play on what he sees as growing disaffection with both parties. He’s eschewing PAC contributions and laying out a centrist agenda that includes calling for an independent commission to recommend cuts in entitlement programs and other spending.[aa]
I enter this race today with this goal in mind: to hold the political process accountable to the people of South Louisiana. The problems we face as a unique region–whether coastal restoration, hurricane protection, education, health care, or the economy–are too urgent to allow the current state of politics to continue….So, in this campaign, my pledge is to raise the level of dialogue above unproductive partisan rhetoric and to propose real reforms that will make the federal government responsive to our voices and our needs. [apap]
Manan Trivedi – Pennsylvania, 6th Congressional District
Since we’ve covered Manan quite a bit at Sepia Mutiny in the past, I can’t really add more. So I’m going to leave you with this video.
As we get closer to primary and midterm election day, we here in the Sepia Mutiny bunkers will do what we can to make sure you get the latest news on these candidates (most of whom I proudly consider part of the Mutineer family). I wanted to focus this particular post to summarize the congressional Desi candidates, but there are other Desis running for office – Kamala Harris (D) is running for Attorney General in California and Nikki Haley (R) is running for Governor in South Carolina. Anyone else I missed? Let us know in the comments.