HomeAsian AmericansVictory by Indian American Gives Democrats Majority in Washington State

Victory by Indian American Gives Democrats Majority in Washington State

Manka Dhingra
Manka Dhingra

Lost amidst the big Democratic victories in Virginia and New Jersey Tuesday was another significant win.

Manka Dhingra won a special election for the state senate seat in the 45th district, reports the Huff Post.

Dhingra defeated Korean American Jinyoung Lee Englund 55% – 45%. Her victory gives the Democrats full control of the state government there.

Dhingra’s victory was the icing on the cake for Democrats who finally had something to celebrate in its push back against what they see as the divisive policies of Donald Trump.


“In Virginia, 100 percent of our investments went into doubling the number of organizers, putting boots in the ground, and upping our game in data and technology,” said Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Grace Meng and Democratic National Committee AAPI Caucus Chair Bel Leong Hong in a joint statement to AsAmNews.  “Since last summer, we’ve been committed to spending on a mail program that targets AAPI communities. AAPIs showed up – in Virginia, New Jersey, Washington and elsewhere and voted for leaders who will create new jobs, grow the economy, improve our schools, and ensure health care is a right for all Americans. They elected leaders like Virginia Delegate-Elect Kathy Tran, New Jersey State Senator-Elect Vin Gopal, and Washington State Senator-Elect Manka Dhingra, whose victory flipped control of the Washington state Senate to Democratic control, giving Democrats control of both legislative chambers and the governorship. Far and wide, the American people rejected a Trump-Pence agenda that would have only fueled division and bigotry.


“Yesterday’s success is just the beginning. In 2018, and beyond the AAPI community is going to be crucial to victories in swing states and key races. The new DNC believes that every zip code counts, and we will organize 365 days a year around candidates who are reflective of our diverse nation and share our values of inclusion, justice, and opportunity. That’s how we will keep winning elections from the school board to the Oval Office.”

The Republican counterpart to the Democratic AAPI Caucus has been silent about the election, but the GOP continues to push its tax relief plan it says will pass savings to all Americans.

According to the Seattle Times, Dhingra’s victory while significant, only gives the Democrat a narrow majority. Among the issues they are expected to push is a full voting rights bill designed to protect the votes of minorities and a health care plan that will fund birth control at no cost to patients.

“We ran a campaign based on values,” Dhingra said. “Not on hate, not on fearmongering, not on putting the other side down.”

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