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Jenifer Rajkumar, first South Asian woman in NY State Assembly

Nov/09/2020 / by Seema Staff
Jenifer Rajkumar

Jenifer Rajkumar, 38, who won 66 percent of votes in the elections Tuesday, will represent District 38 of the New York State Assembly, which encompasses the parts of Queens largely made up by immigrants.

Rajkumar was expected to win her very blue district when she defeated Democratic incumbent Michael Miller in the primaries this summer.  She had earlier told SEEMA that she won the primaries by “the biggest margin” of all contests in the state. On Tuesday, she defeated Republican Giovanni Perna and cruised to victory.

Jenifer Rajkumar

Jenifer Rajkumar and Zohran Mamdani, who won from Astoria, have become the first South Asians elected to the New York State Assembly.

Born to Punjabi immigrant parents, Rajkumar previously ran unsuccessfully for the assembly in 2016. Prior to her political run, the Indian American lawyer served as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s director of immigration affairs and as special counsel for the New York State Department.

Rep. Ro Khanna from California had endorsed her run this summer. In an interview prior to her election, Rajkumar, who had expected to win, told SEEMA that when elected she would work to make her district among the “most immigrant-friendly” places in New York.

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