Here are the Indian Americans Who Won in Local U.S. Elections

Several Indian American candidates, including Manka Dhingra, Vin Gopal and Ravi Bhalla, won seats in the Senate, City Council and other local polls.


Nov. 7 was a significant day for Indian Americans who contested elections nationwide. While two leaders belonging to the community won senate seats, one emerged victorious in mayoral election, and several others were elected to local councils and school boards.

Many of the candidates had faced racist slurs against them during the campaign process, including an incident in which fliers claiming that Sikh mayoral candidate Ravinder Bhalla was a terrorist. In another episode, another flier wanted Indian American Falguni Patel to be deported, even though she was born in the United States.

Here is a list of the Indian Americans who won various local elections on Nov. 7:

Manka Dhingra: The 43-year-old Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for King County won 55 per cent of the votes in the race for 45th District in Washington. With Dhingra’s win, Democrats came into control of the house with a slim majority. She is also a mental health and domestic violence prevention leader. Dhingra is the Chair of the King County’s Therapeutic Alternative Unit, serves the Veterans Court and the Community Assessment and Referral for Diversion program.

Vin Gopal: The 31-year-old businessman stepped down as chairman of Monmouth County Democratic to run for New Jersey’s 11th legislative district. The owner of a small business defeated career politician Jennifer Beck. He is the owner of Community Magazine NJ, founded in 2008, and the nonprofit Direct Development LLC, founded in 2010, that aim to help local charities and individuals in need. He received endorsement of Garden State Equality, an LGBTQ organization, as well as the New Jersey Firefighters Association. He was also endorsed by Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey.

Ravinder Bhalla: The first Sikh man to be elected as the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, Bhalla was elected to the City Council in 2009. He was born and raised in the state. He worked towards lowering taxes in Hoboken, where he settled at the age of 26.

Maya Vengadeasalam: She ran unopposed for the District No. 5 position in the school board at Kent, Washington.

Falguni Patel: Born and raised in New Jersey, Patel won the school board seat despite racist fliers seeking her deportation. She is a democrat and an immigration lawyer.

Vijay Kapoor: He is the first Asian American City Council member in Asheville, North Carolina. Kapoor, 41, holds a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned 23 per cent of the votes, higher than the remaining six candidates.

Seema Singh Perez: She became the first Indian American to win a seat in the Knoxville City Council.

Dimple Tansen Ajmera: She is the first Asian American and the youngest woman to serve on the Charlotte City Council.

Satwinder Kaur: The Sikh American is a former City of Kent employee. She received 56.8 per cent votes in the Kent City Council election in Washington.

Tanike Padhye: The civil rights attorney retained her seat at the Redmond City Council in Washington, to which she was appointed in March 2017, with 61 per cent votes.

Samip ‘Sam’ Joshi: A 28-year-old financial executive in Edison, Joshi is a democrat who was elected to the Edison City Council with 11,827 votes. He is an executive vice president at SD Capital Funding, a mortgage financing firm, and a co-founder of Loanscribe, a student loan refinancing firm. He is also the elected vice president of the Middlesex County Young Democrats.

Virbhadra ‘Viru’ Patel: He won a Woodbridge City Council seat in the town’s 4th Ward of New Jersey. He previously worked as a senior transportation specialist at NYC DOT and as a civil engineer at Frederic R Harris Inc.

Sangeeta Doshi: She won a three-year-termed seat in the Cherry Hill Township in New Jersey. A resident of the area for 21 years, she has served as a volunteer on the Township Planning and Zoning Boards, and has served on the Domestic Violence Response Team.

Shanti Narra: The Democrat won the single one-year unexpired term freeholder seat in Middlesex County in New Jersey. She serves as the chair of the Public Safety and Health Committee.

Deven Patel and Joyce Mehta: Both won seats on the South Brunswick School Board.

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