Ro Khanna gives tough fight to Congressman Honda
Washington: Running a high-voltage campaign and having earned the support of top Silicon Valley donors and corporate executives, young Indian-American Ro Khanna could be on the verge of creating history.
In the Congressional elections held Tuesday, he is trailing the incumbent Mike Honda by a little over 3,500 votes. But he has already caught the attention of political pundits nationwide.
However, thousands of provisional ballots were yet to be counted, on which Khanna and his team are pinning their hopes. Mainstream media outlets have not called off the race and are waiting for the rest of the ballots to be counted.
Unseating a seven-term Congressman that too from his own party is a considered to be a daunting task - given that Honda has been endorsed by the US President Barack Obama and top Democratic leadership including Nancy Pelosi.
But 38-year-old Khanna hired entire re-election team of Barack Obama and earned the support of top Silicon Valley executives.
Honda, 73, is almost twice his age.
The election results also indicate that Khanna was able to considerably reduce the 20 point lead that Honda enjoyed at the start of the campaign.
Yesterday, both the campaigns kept quiet, pinning their hopes on counting of thousands of provisional ballots.
“Regardless of the results, we have a lot to celebrate,” Khanna had told his supporters Tuesday night. Khanna's campaign said the battle was far from over. “It's a good beginning but it's not the end yet,” Honda had said.
“The energy was high and people were responding very positively,” he added.
If elected, Khanna would be the fourth Indian-American to be elected to the US House of Representatives. He would also be the first Hindu Indian-American to enter the House of Representatives.
Born to migrant parents from Punjab, Khanna served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the US Department of Commerce under Obama.
His maternal grandfather, Amarnath Vidyalankar, was part of Gandhi's independence movement working with Lala Lajpat Rai and spent years in jail.