12 Indian-American candidates raise USD 26 million for Nov 6 midterm polls

12 Indian American candidates raise USD 26 million for Nov 6 midterm pollsWASHINGTON: A dozen Indian-Americans running for the US Congress next month have collectively raised over USD 26 million for their election campaign with six of them outraising their opponents, according to the latest official figures.

Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, Ami Bera, Hiral Tipirneni, and Aftab Pureval have outraised their opponents in their respective seats for the US House of Representatives.

For the political pundits, funds raised by a candidate is considered the barometer of their popularity and one who raises more than his/her opponent is normally considered to win.

Most of the fund-raising figures released by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) are till September 30 and the final number before the November 6 polls is likely to jump further.

If they win the number of Indian-Americans in the US House of Representatives could jump from the current four to six, with two of them being woman and one being of Tibetan origin.

Raja Krishnamoorthi from the eighth Congressional District of Illinois till September 30, as per FEC figures, has raised more than USD 5 million, topping the list. His opponent, Jitender Diganvker also an Indian-American has raised a paltry USD 35,817, which is also the lowest fund-raising figure among the dozen Indian-Americans in the race for the Congress this time.

Shiv Ayyadurai who is running for a Senate seat in Massachusetts against the powerful Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, has surprised many by raising USD 5 million. But political pundits give him very little chance against the Warren, who has raised USD 20 million so far.

Indian-American physician Hiral Tipirneni has raised over USD 3.76 million. Tipirneni lost to incumbent Debbie Lesko during the special elections early this year.

The momentum looks like is with the Indian-American woman in this eighth Congressional District of Arizona as her opponent so far has raised USD 1.8 million.

And so has Aftab Pureval, who is seeking to enter the US House of Representatives from the first Congressional District of Ohio.

The only Indian-American to be endorsed by former US President Barack Obama, Pureval has raised USD 3.1 million, as against his Republican opponent and incumbent Steve Chabot of about USD 1 million. Chabot’s latest figures with FEC are only till June 30.

Three-time Congressman from seventh Congressional District of California Dr Ami Bera has raised USD 2.69 million as against USD 373,000 by his Republican opponent Andrew Grant.

All the previous three elections bids for him had been tough and all the three times he was declared elected only after recounting of votes.

Representing Silicon Valley, Ro Khanna from the 17th Congressional District of California is pretty close with USD 2.62 million. He virtually has no contest at all.

Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian American woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives has raised USD 1.66 million, according to the FEC figures till July 18. Her opponent Craig Keller has raised about USD 3,000 till the same period.

Former diplomat Sri Preston Kulkarni is running a spirited campaign against Republican incumbent Peter H Olson, who has raised USD 1.38 million.

Kulkarni, who is running from the 22nd Congressional District of Texas, has raised USD 1.02 million so far as per the latest FEC figures.

Anita Malik is the third Indian-American woman in the race to the Congress this mid-term.

Contesting from the sixth Congressional District of Arizona, she has raised USD 128,826 million so far, as against her Republican opponent and incumbent David Schweikert’s USD 1.4 million.

Democratic Sanjay Patel, who is seeking his luck from the eight Congressional District of Florida has raised USD 231,381 as against his Republican opponent Bill Posey who has raised USD 782,469. Patel’s fund-raising figures are only till August 8, according to the FEC.

In addition to Jitender Diganvker, Harry Arora is the only other Indian-American Republican in the race for US House of Representatives.

Contesting from fourth Congressional District, Arora has raised USD 729,405 as against his USD 1.57 million by his Democratic opponent Jim Himes. PTI

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