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Samosa Caucus Grows: IT Exec, Mayor, Senator Eye Congress Seats

Discover the exciting 2024 race for US Congress, featuring a diverse lineup including an IT executive, the Mayor of Hoboken, and a state Senator, as the Samosa Caucus expands.

Key Takeaways
  • The 2024 US House race includes diverse candidates like Hoboken Mayor Ravinder Bhalla and IT professional Rishi Kumar, highlighting the growing diversity in American politics.
  • The Samosa Caucus, representing Indian-American lawmakers, is evolving, showcasing the increasing influence of Indian-Americans in US politics.
  • The traditionally Democratic Samosa Caucus might welcome Republican members, like Niraj Antani, indicating a shift towards bipartisan representation.

The Rising Influence of Indian-Americans in US Politics

The race for the US House of Representatives in 2024 features candidates from diverse backgrounds, including Ravinder Bhalla, the Sikh American Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, and Rishi Kumar, an IT professional from Mumbai, known as the “Slumdog Engineer.” They are part of a group of Indian-American politicians, informally known as the “Samosa Caucus,” which has been expanding since its inception.

The term “Samosa Caucus” was first used by Raja Krishnamoorthi to describe the growing number of Indian-American members in the US Congress. This informal group initially included prominent figures such as Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Rohit “Ro” Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, and Kamala Harris, who left the group in 2020 upon becoming the Vice President of the United States. Shri Thanedar joined the caucus in 2023, further strengthening its presence.

Profiles of Key Candidates in the 2024 Congressional Race

Ravinder Bhalla: A New Jersey Mayor’s Congressional Bid

Ravinder Bhalla, the Mayor of Hoboken, is challenging Rob Menendez, whose father, Senator Bob Menendez, is facing federal charges. Bhalla’s campaign could potentially be influenced by these legal issues surrounding the Menendez family.

Rishi Kumar: From Silicon Valley to the Political Arena

Rishi Kumar is running for a seat in California, previously occupied by a long-serving Democrat. His previous attempts in 2020 and 2022 were unsuccessful, but he gained enough votes to be a considerable candidate in the general election.

Niraj Antani: A Young Republican’s Congressional Ambitions

Niraj Antani, a young Republican state Senator from Ohio, who, if elected, would become the youngest Indian American in the US Congress. The participation of candidates like Antani indicates that the Samosa Caucus, predominantly consisting of Democrats, might also welcome members from the Republican Party.

This development in the US political landscape reflects not only the growing influence of Indian-Americans in American politics but also the increasing diversity within the US Congress​​​​​​.