Indian-American Nikki Haley created history on Wednesday by becoming the first woman governor of South Carolina, with her Republican party trouncing the Democratic party of U.S. President Barack Obama in the nationwide mid-term elections.
Born to Sikh parents who migrated from Punjab, Ms. Haley created history by becoming the first woman to occupy the governor’s mansion of South Carolina.
She is only the second India-American to be a Governor of a U.S. State after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana; and also the first Indian-American woman governor.
According to the unofficial results Haley got 52 per cent as against her Democratic rival Vincent Sheehan who polled 46 per cent.
The much expected victory did not come before giving some anxious moment to Haley and her campaign. For some portion of the counting of votes, Haley was trailing behind, and then was running neck to neck with Sheehan before she took handsome lead.
However, the news so far is not good for the rest of the other major Indian-American candidates running for the US House of Representatives, as all of them were trailing when reports last came in.
A record number of six Indian Americans were in the fray. Five of them are Democrats — Manan Trivedi from Pennsylvania, Ami Bera from California, Raj Goyle from Kansas, Ravi Sangisetty from Louisiana and Surya Yalamanchili from Ohio.
Ashvin Lad from Illinois is the only Republican Indian American in fray. In Pennsylvania, Trivedi, a Iraq war veteran, was initially ahead of his Republican rival Jim Gerlach but the latter took the lead later on.
While Trivedi had received 58,911 votes, Gerlach had received 76,197 of the total votes counted so far.
If elected Trivedi would be only the third Indian American to enter the House of Representatives — after Dalip Singh Saund and Bobby Piyush Jindal.
In Kansas, Indian American Raj Goyle, appeared to be defeated by his Republican rival Mike Pompe. In the 4th House District of Kansas, Pompe had received 59 per cent of the total votes counted when reports last came, while Goyle had got just 36 per cent of the total votes counted.
In Louisiana’s Third Congressional District Ravi Sangisetty had almost lost the elections, with his Republican rivals Jeffy Landry taking an inaccessible lead.