Indian American Ravi Bhalla secures strong support in race for US House Democratic primary


NEW DELHI: Indian American Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, Ravi Bhalla; who is now running for the Democratic primary for the US House from New Jersey’s eighth district, has garnered strong support and endorsements in the past few weeks. If elected in November 2024, Bhalla would be the first South Asian to represent New Jersey in Congress and join the cohort of five Indian Americans in the US House – Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ami Bera, Shri Thanedar, Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal.Bhalla is currently challenging Representative Rob Menendez Jr. in the Democratic primary on June 4.
Advocacy group Indian American Impact, which has supported 166 candidates across the US, contributing to the rise of Indian American representation in politics, has recently endorsed Bhalla for his primary candidacy for the US House of Representatives. Through strategic investments and grassroots organising, Impact has marshalled upwards of $20 million to candidates; voter mobilisation and policy advocacy efforts and amplifying the voices of South Asian Americans.
“If elected, Mayor Ravi Bhalla would be the first South Asian to represent New Jersey in Congress. Ravi’s track record of championing justice, combating discrimination, and ensuring all New Jerseyans can pursue the American dream speaks volumes about his commitment to our values. His accomplishments as a civil rights attorney and as Mayor of Hoboken demonstrate his dedication to tackling corruption, reforming policies, and moving communities forward. In Congress, we have no doubt he would value the inclusion, innovation, and entrepreneurship that define the New Jersey South Asian American community.” Taher Hasanali, Indian American Impact’s national political director, said.
With more than 50,000 South Asians residing in New Jersey District 8, Bhalla’s candidacy reflects the growing influence of South Asian Americans in American politics. “The son of Indian immigrants, he champions hard work, opportunity, and his Sikh faith,” Indian American Impact said in a press statement. A civil rights attorney, Bhalla is recognised across the US for reforming federal visitation policies in correctional facilities. Serving on the Hoboken City Council from 2008-2016, he tackled corruption and mismanagement, later becoming mayor in 2017 and securing re-election in 2021.
“I am thrilled to have the endorsement of Indian American Impact, an organisation that works to ensure that our government draws on the talents of all our people, including those from communities that have been too often excluded. I join Indian American Impact in believing that America’s diversity is its strength and that our nation is continually enriched by every new wave of immigrants. It is our unique strength,” Bhalla, who was born and raised in New Jersey and whose father is from Anandpur Sahib in Punjab and raised in Jabalpur before immigrating to the US, said.
His campaign highlights healthcare as a right for everyone; climate change; protection of a woman’s right to choose; battling against hatred and building an economy that works for all and he believes that his track record of getting things done as mayor of Hoboken, on issues that matter to people, is among his biggest strengths. “As mayor, I have increased affordable housing, expanded parks and open space, made Hoboken a national model for pedestrian safety, curbed flooding, and boosted resiliency to better withstand the impact of climate change,” Bhalla, had said in an exclusive interview to the Times of India.
Recently Bhalla’s campaign for Congress also received the endorsement of Hoboken Councilman Phil Cohen. “Ravi has effectively addressed the most important issues affecting our community, including flood resiliency infrastructure , climate change, parks and green spaces —as well as Vision Zero progress for pedestrian safety,” said Councilman Phil Cohen when announcing the endorsement.
Indian American Impact has also recently endorsed Pramila Jayapal for the US House in Washington’s 7th Congressional District for re-election. She is the first South Asian woman ever elected to the US Congress and is seeking re-election for a fifth term to represent her district in the House of Representatives.
Some of the other Indian Americans in key races for the Democratic primaries for representation in US Congress include Susheela Jayapal, the sister of Congresswoman Jayapal, a Democrat contesting from Oregon, whose election is on May 21; and physician and Arizona state representative, Amish Shah, who is running from Arizona, with his primary scheduled on July 30. Dr Anil Kumar, a physician, is running for election to the US House from Michigan; his Democratic primary is scheduled on August 6; Suhas Subramanyam, a lawyer and member of the Virginia House of Delegates, is running for election to the US House from Virginia and will face the Democratic primary election on June 18. Other Indian Americans running for the US House include Krystle Kaul (Democratic Party), from Virginia; her Democratic primary is scheduled on June 18; and Raju Chinthala (Republican Party), who is running for election from Indiana and is on the ballot in the Republican primary on May 7.


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