Today is the last day for ballots to be counted from the November 2nd elections, which means it is official. Kamala Harris is the new Attorney General for the state of California.
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris narrowly beat out Steve Cooley, the District Attorney for Los Angeles. The victory makes Harris, whose mother is Indian American and father is Jamaican, the first African American, Indian and woman to hold the office in California.
Harris was once labeled the “female Barack Obama”, and won the race with an uncharacteristically progressive platform. She’s openly opposed to the death penalty; in fact, she refused to pursue capital punishment during her eight year tenure as DA in San Francisco, but has vowed that as Attorney General she’ll do “what’s necessary.” [colorlines]
Harris won her seat by only 71,566 votes, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Harris will be making her “big announcement” today as well as having a victory party here in the Bay area.
As the November 2nd dust settles, there are a couple of other major South Asian American victories also to be noted. One of them is fellow Bong Hansen Clark, who is now officially the third South Asian congressman to ever hold the seat (Dalip Singh Saund and Bobby Jindal being the first two).
Voters in the Midwestern state of Michigan have elected the first Bangladeshi-American ever to serve in the U.S. Congress. The congressman-elect was born to a Bangladeshi immigrant father and an African-American mother. Clarke’s father passed away when he was 8 years old, but he says his father greatly influenced him and that he strongly identifies with his father’s culture.
Clarke, who was raised a Muslim and converted to Catholicism, says he also plans to work with local officials to end religious and racial profiling in Michigan. The city of Dearborn and other areas across Michigan are home to large Muslim populations. [voa]
Of course, how could we forget the first South Asian American woman to be elected Governor in the United States? Nikki Haley from the state of South Carolina.
South Carolina Gov.-elect Nikki Haley says former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin helped spread Haley’s message, but she’s not ready to endorse Palin for president. Haley says she’s proud to be a product of the tea party movement. She says that movement tries to fight what she called “arrogance” by Republicans and Democrats. [washingtonpost] Continue reading