South Asian Women in Politics

Jan/19/2021 / by Bhargavi Kulkarni
Featured in SEEMA Magazine’s November 2020 issue.

We all know that Kamala Harris will make history tomorrow as the first woman of color to hold the office of the Vice President of the United States. But did you know about the record number of South Asian women on both sides running for office in at least 16 states. Check out the list below and the infographic to appreciate the impact of South Asians Americans.

ARIZONA

Hiral Tipirneni: U.S. Senate from Arizona’s 6th Congressional District. Tipirneni, a physician and cancer-research advocate, is considered the favorite to win the right to challenge five-term incumbent, Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz.

Amish Shah (AZ HD-24)

Dr. Ravi Grivois-Shah: Running for the TUSD Governing Board

 

CALIFORNIA 

Ami Bera: A member of the U.S. House, representing California’s 7th Congressional District. He assumed office on January 3, 2013. 

Ro Khanna: A member of the U.S. House, representing California’s 17th Congressional District. He assumed office on January 3, 2017.

(REPUBLICAN) Ritesh Tandon: He is running for U.S. Congress against Ro Khanna from California’s 17th Congressional District.

(REPUBLICAN) Nisha Sharma: Running for U.S. Congress from California’s 11th District against Mark DeSaulnier. 

Ash Kalra: A member of the California State Assembly, representing District 27. Incumbent. 

Harbir Bhatia: A candidate for Santa Clara City Council. 

Fatima Iqbal-Zubair: Fatima Iqbal-Zubair decided to run for State Assembly in California’s 64th district on a platform of education reform, environmental justice, affordable housing, healthcare for all, divestment from police and immigration justice. If elected, Iqbal-Zubair would be the first Sri Lankan, first Muslim and first woman ever to represent the district.

San Ramon Mayor: Sanat Sethy, Sabina Zafar Dr. Dinesh Govindarao, Aparrna Madireddi and Susmita Nayak.

San Ramon City Council: Sameera Rajwade, Varun Kaushal and Sridhar Verose.

Kumar Nallusamy: Running for election to the San Ramon Valley Unified Board of Education to represent Trustee Area 3 in California.

Satinder Kaur Kang: Running for election to the Fowler Unified School District Board of Education to represent Trustee Area 4 in California.

Rishi Kumar: Running for election to the U.S. House to represent California’s 18th Congressional District. 

Sudha Kasamsetty: Running for Cupertino Union School District Seat

FREMONT Mayor: Vik Bajwa Singh and Naz Mahika Khan, a native of the Fiji Islands with ancestral roots in India.

Yogi Chugh: Running for election to the Fremont City Council to represent District 6 in California. 

Jhansi Kalapala: Running for election to the Fremont Unified Board of Education to represent Area 4 in California. Kalapala is also running for election to the Fremont City Council to represent District 6 in California.

Nithya Raman: Running for election to the Los Angeles City Council to represent District 4 in California.

Incumbent Vedica Puri was the only candidate to file for San Francisco Superior Court Seat 17

and won the position by default when the election was canceled.

Ashfaq Chowdhury (also known as Ron) is a judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in California. He won re-election for judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in California outright in the primary election on March 3, 2020, after the primary and general election were canceled.

Aarti Kaushal: Running in the general election for South Orange County Community College District District 1 on November 3, 2020. Also running for Irvine Ranch Water District Division 4.

 

ILLINOIS 

Raja Krishnamoorthi: A member of the U.S. House, representing Illinois’ 8th Congressional District. He assumed office on January 3, 2017.

Paras Parekh For Lake County Board

 

KENTUCKY

Nima Kulkarni: She is a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, representing District 40. Kulkarni is running unopposed after once again defeating fellow Democrat Dennis Horlander in the Democratic primary in Jefferson County’s 40th District. 

 

MAINE

Sara Gideon (U.S. Senate): She is challenging embattled Republican Sen. Susan Collins in November in a race that could alter the balance of power in the U.S. Senate if Gideon prevails. Gideon has been maintaining a lead in the opinion polls over the 67-year-old Collins, who is seeking a fifth term in office. Gideon is the daughter of immigrants — her father is from India, while her mother is a second generation Armenian. She is serving her second term as Speaker of the House and fourth term in the Maine House of Representatives.

 

MARYLAND

Raaheela Ahmed is a member of the Prince George’s County Board of Education, representing District 5 in Maryland. Ahmed assumed office in 2016. Ahmed’s current term ends in 2020.

Ahmed is running for re-election to the Prince George’s County Board of Education to represent District 5 in Maryland. Ahmed is on the ballot in the general election on November 3, 2020. The primary election for this office on June 2, 2020, was canceled.

 

MICHIGAN

Padma Kuppa: Running for re-election to the Michigan House of Representatives to represent District 41.

Ranjeev Puri (Democratic Party) is running for election to the Michigan House of Representatives to represent District 21.

 

NEVADA

Sayed Zaidi (independent) is running for election to the Nevada State Assembly to represent District 42. 

Radhika Kunnel: Running for election to the Nevada State Assembly to represent District 2.

Swadeep Nigam is running for election to the Nevada Board of Regents to represent District 3. 

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE 

Latha Mangipudi: Running for re-election to the New Hampshire House of Representatives to represent Hillsborough 35. 

 

NEW JERSEY

(REPUBLICAN) Rik Mehta: U.S. Senate against Cory Booker.

Rupande MehtaShe is running in a special election to the New Jersey State Senate to represent District 25.

Smita Nadia Hussain: For Bloomingdale Board of Education

Ramya Kasthuri: Vying for Spot on Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, Board of Education

Padmaja Chinta: Among 13 candidates vying for the three, three-year terms available on the Edison Board of Education. 

Nishita Desai & Parul Patel: Running for Franklin Township Board of Education. Nishita Desai is a Biologist by profession and is on the current BOE. Parul Patel is a financial analyst. 

Ranjana Rao: Running for re-election to seat in Montgomery Township School District Board of Education. 

Priti Dave and Sonal Patel are among ten Westfield residents to have declared their candidacy for three vacancies on the Board of Education.

Sanjeev Vinayak: Millburn-Short Hills Township Committee

Balvir Singh: Burlington County Freeholder (INCUMBENT) 

SOUTH BRUNSWICK: Raja Krishna, Mike Mitchell and Smitha Raj will compete against incumbents Arthur Robinson, Deven Patel and Patrick Del Piano for three, three-year seats on the South Brunswick Board of Education.

PISCATAWAY: Mayor candidate Brijesh Singh and his running mate Dhimant Patel.

Kapil K. Shah Candidate for Piscataway Township Council Column B

EDISON: Thirteen candidates will vie for the three, three-year terms available on the Edison Board of Education for the election in November. The candidates include incumbent Jing Wei “Jerry” Shi; and newcomers Brett Baker, Padmaja Chinta, Anthony DePasquale, Ernest Kregeloh, Christo Makropoulos, Yash Pandya, Mohin K. Patel, Sparshil Patel, Clifton Prescod, Brian Rivera, Maria Wise and Virginia R. White. Shi, Patel and White are running on the Edison First slate and Kregeloh is running on the Improving Education Together slate.

 

NEW YORK

Jeremy Cooney: (Democratic Party, Working Families Party) is running for election to the New York State Senate to represent District 56.

Jennifer Rajkumar: New York State Assembly. Rajkumar, who won 52 percent of the votes in District 38, defeated incumbent Assembly member Michael Miller.

Kevin Thomas: (Democratic Party, Working Families Party): Running for re-election to the New York State Senate to represent District 6.

Deepti Sharma: City Council District 24

Moumita Ahmed: City Council District 24

Ragini Srivastava: (Republican Party, Conservative Party, Independence Party) is running for election to the New York State Assembly to represent District 16.

Sarita Bhandarkar: (Democratic Party, Working Families Party) is running for election to the New York State Assembly to represent District 99.

Zohran Kwame Mamdani (Democratic Party) is running for election to the New York State Assembly to represent District 36. (HE IS MIRA NAIR’S SON)

Khorshed Chowdhury (Republican Party) is running for election to the New York State Assembly to represent District 54. Chowdhury also ran in the 2018 election as a Conservative Party candidate.Chowdhury was a 2016 Republican candidate for the same seat.

Jagruti Patel: Running for East Windsor Board of Education.

 

NORTH CAROLINA

Ronnie Chatterji: Running for election for North Carolina Treasurer.

Jay Chaudhuri: Running for re-election to the North Carolina State Senate to represent District 15.

Anjali Boyd is running in the general election for Durham Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor.

Abdul Rashid Siddiqui (Republican Party) is running for election for Guilford County Register of Deeds in North Carolina.

 

OHIO

Aftab Pureval (Hamilton County Clerk of Courts) INCUMBENT 

Pavan Parikh (OH Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas)

Niraj Antani State Representative (R-42) in the Ohio House of Representatives

Lakshmi Kode Sammarco: She is running for re-election for Hamilton County Coroner in Ohio.

 

PENNSYLVANIA

Nina Ahmad: The Bangladeshi American woman has won the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania auditor general. Ahmad, a former Philadelphia deputy mayor, prevailed over five other contenders in the elections held on June 11. If elected in November, she becomes the first woman of color to serve as a state-wide executive.

Nikil Saval: Running for election to the Pennsylvania State Senate to represent District 1.

 

TENNESSEE

Sabi Kumar (Republican Party) (also known as Doc) is running for re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives to represent District 66. He is on the ballot in the general election on November 3, 2020. He advanced from the Republican primary on August 6, 2020.

 

TEXAS 

Donna Imam: The Bangladeshi American is seeking to create history by unseating longtime Republican Congressman John Carter in Texas’ 31st District. If elected, she will become the first South Asian woman from Texas in the U.S. Congress. 

Dimple Malhotra: Running in the general election for Travis County Court at Law No. 4. 

Pooja Sethi for Austin City Council District 10.

Sri Preston Kulkarni: Running for election to the U.S. House to represent Texas’ 22nd Congressional District

Saishashishekar Krishnarajanagar, Council Place 6 in Frisco

ted, she will become the first South Asian woman from Texas in the U.S. Congress

R.K. Sandill is running for re-election as judge of the Texas 127th District Court. 

Vatsa Ramanathan: Running for re-election to the Allen Independent School District school board to represent Place 7 in Texas. Ramanathan assumed office in 2017.

Mohammed Akbar, Abdul Khabeer, and Mark Zeske are running in the general election for Irving City Council Place 3 .

 

VERMONT

Kesha Ram: Is running for election to the Vermont State Senate to represent Chittenden District. Ram was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives, representing Chittenden-6-4 District. She assumed office in 2009. She left office in 2017.She was a candidate for lieutenant governor of Vermont in 2016. She was defeated in the Democratic primary on August 9, 2016.

 

VIRGINIA 

Puneet Ahluwalia, an Indian-American business consultant, is running for the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor of Virginia

Manga Anantatmula: Running for election to the U.S. House to represent Virginia’s 11th Congressional District.  Manga was a former federal government contractor in defense acquisitions program management, and in the 2020 November, Congressional elections seek to defeat the six-term incumbent Congressman Gerry Connolly. 

Qasim Rashid (Democratic Party) is running for election to the U.S. House to represent Virginia’s 1st Congressional District. 

 

WASHINGTON

Pramila Jayapal: First Indian American woman elected to U.S. Congress in 2016. She is running for re-election to the U.S. House to represent Washington’s 7th Congressional District. Jayapal is a former Democratic member of the Washington State Senate, representing District 37 from 2014 to 2016.

Vandana Slatter: Running for re-election to the Washington House of Representatives to represent District 48-Position 1.

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