Indian Americans Tipirneni, Sanjay Patel Win Congressional Primaries UnopposedTop Stories

August 30, 2018 10:17
Indian Americans Tipirneni, Sanjay Patel Win Congressional Primaries Unopposed

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In Tuesday's Democratic primaries in Arizona and Florida, Indian Americans Hiral Tipirneni and Sanjay Patel ran unopposed, while tech executive Anita Malik, an another Indian American Democrat, is leading by 383 votes against her nearest rival in Arizona's 6th congressional district. Malik's race is excessively close to call.

Tipirneni will now face the same rival in the midterm elections on November 6 in Arizona's 8th congressional district, who lost a close special election in April to Representative Debbie Lesko.

In an extremely competitive special election, which was guaranteed since the incumbent GOP Rep. Trent Franks resigned past December after he was involved in a sexual misconduct scandal, Tipirneni received over 82,300 votes (47.4 percent), approximately 9,000 fewer than Lesko.

Nevertheless, despite the competitive nature of their last race, Cook Political Report rates the district as a solidly Republican seat in November.

Patel will run against face incumbent Bill Posey, who similarly ran unopposed in the Republican primary in Florida's 8th congressional district.

Patel, a first-generation immigrant, and small business owner, also starts as an underdog. Cook Political Report rates the district as a solidly Republican seat, with GOP having an 11 percentage point advantage. Sabato's Crystal Ball likewise rates the district as a "safe" Republican seat.

Patel is also behind in the money race, having raised only $231,000, less than half of the nearly $600,000 collected by Posey, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Relates content: Martha McSally Wins Republican Primary for Senate in Arizona

The Indian American is running on a number of issues such as health care, economy, and jobs, environment and education.

On health care, he has vowed to work "to make health care a right for every American by supporting Medicare for All."

With the primary victories of Patel and Tipirneni, the number of Indian Americans on the midterm congressional voting has reached double digits.

All four Indian American members of Congress- Ro Khanna, D-CA; Reps Ami Bera, D-CA; Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-IL; and Pramila Jayapal, D-WA; - are running for re-election.

Additionally, the following Indian Americans will be on the ballot in November:

Aftab Pureval, Ohio's 1st congressional district: Pureval, is one of the rising stars in Ohio's Democratic party. He won the May primary unopposed and is running against Republican Rep. Steve Chabot.

Chintan Desai, Arkansas' first district: Desai, in June won the Democratic primary and in November will take on three-term incumbent Republican Rick Crawford.

Jitendra 'J.D.' Diganvker, Illinois' 6th congressional district: Diganvker, is the sole Indian American Republican congressional candidate who will be on the ballot in November, facing the incumbent Indian American Rep. Krishnamoorthi.

By Sowmya Sangam

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