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Obama endorses Indian-American candidate in Senate race

Washington, Aug 7 (IANS) Sara Gideon, an Indian-origin Democratic senatorial candidate in the state of Maine, has won the endorsement of former US President Barack Obama for her November contest against incumbent Republican Senator Susan Collins, the media reported.

Daughter of an Indian immigrant father, 48-year-old Gideon figured in the list of candidates endorsed by Obama nationwide, the American Bazaar reported on Thursday.

“I’m proud to endorse this diverse and hopeful collection of thoughtful, empathetic and highly qualified Democrats,” Obama said in a statement on Monday releasing the list.

“Together, these candidates will help us redeem our country’s promise by sticking up for working people, restoring fairness and opportunity to our system, and fighting for the good of all Americans — not just those at the top,” he said.

Currently speaker of the Maine state Assembly, Gideon has also been endorsed by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Gideon, who is maintaining a narrow lead over Collins in recent polls, has also won the support of major labour unions and raised a record $23 million for her campaign.

After New Jersey entrepreneur Rik Mehta, she is the second Indian-American to have won a Senate primary race in 2020 elections, said the American Bazaar report.

If elected in November, she will be the second Indian-American women to be elected to the US Senate after Kamala Harris, a frontrunner to be Biden’s vice presidential pick.

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Film-maker Mira Nair’s son Zohran Mamdani is set to be elected to the New York State Assembly after winning the Democratic Party primary in a city constituency that is its stronghold. In January, he and Jenifer Rajkumar, who has won another primary, will become the first persons of Indian origin in the Assembly. Mamdani’s rival, sitting Assembly member Aravella Simotas has conceded defeat to him in a tweet even though the Board of Elections, which has bungled the vote counting, is yet to officially announce the results even a month after the primary. After a futile wait for the board’s notification, Rajkumar announced her victory having achieved “the near impossible by winning with a margin of 27 percentage points during a global pandemic” over sitting member Michael Miller. In the US system, candidates have to first win the primaries, which are intra-party elections, to be nominated to run in the elections against candidates from other parties. The Democratic Party is so strong in the two constituencies in the Queens borough of the city dominated by immigrants and minorities that the party candidates won with over 99 per cent of the votes in the 2018 general elections. An Indian American candidate for the House of Representative, Suraj Patel, is trapped in the limbo of the state Board of Elections which is unable to formally complete the counting of absentee ballots for the primary and officially announce the results from the primary held on June 23. Mamdani, 28, is a rapper, who performs under the stage name of Mr Cardamom and has produced a rap video, “Nani” starring Madhur Jaffrey, the actor and cookbook author. Full report on our website. Link in bio. #miranair #zohranmamdani #indianamerican

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