Shri Thanedar the First Indian-American to Win Democratic Primary in Michigan
Mr Thanedar, representing a state House district in Detroit for two years, won the likely-decisive Democratic primary in the open 13th Congressional District seat
An Indian-American entrepreneur, Shri Thanedar, created a historic moment by winning the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 13th Congressional district. Community organisations termed it a historic first for the South Asian community. The 13th congressional district seat, held in Detroit, had state Senator Adan Hollier and Focus: HOPE CEO Portia Robertson as his main rivals. Mr Thanedar has been representing a state House district for two years.
According to the report, 99 per cent of the votes were counted with Mr Thanedar leading with 28 per cent, as opposed to 23.5 per cent for Mr Hollier and 17 per cent for Portia Robertson. Unofficial statistics reported that Mr Thanedar topped Mr Hollier by receiving approximately 3,800 votes (22,302 to 18,513) and was far ahead of the other contestants in the nine-person field. Thanedar will compete against Republican Martell Bivings in the general election. Bivings served as a liaison for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and won the Republican primary with no opposition. However, Mr Thanedar is believed to have a good chance of winning in this strongly Democratic area.
Despite SuperPACs spending over USD 6.5 million in an unprecedented financial effort to keep Mr Thanedar off the November ballot, Indian American Impact, an organisation that focuses on the Indian American and South Asian communities, claimed that Mr Thanedar and his campaign manager, former Indian American Impact political director Linto Thomas, were successful in securing Mr Thanedar's victory over the Detroit area. Mr Thanedar’s victory is the first of many that AAPI candidates will achieve when they run for office nationwide to increase support and representation for their community.
The Indian American Impact Executive Director, Neil Makhija, also stated that his primary win is a historic first for the South Asian community. Mr Thanedar and his campaign manager, Thomas, were commended by Mr Makhija for executing a powerful campaign and furthering interest in his candidacy for Congressman in Detroit, Michigan.
Indian Americans across the nation are celebrating Thanedar’s victory, as they are a politically underrepresented and under-engaged community. The organisation observed the victory as an immeasurable step towards expanding Indian American representation within their elected government. Moreover, electing politicians that look and think like one of them will create a foundation necessary for the community to participate in conversations that they were earlier excluded from.