The largest newspaper in Sacramento, the capital city of California, has openly endorsed the only Indian-origin member in the US Congress for a third term in office.
Doctor-turned politician Ami Bera, who has held California’s 7th Congressional District since January 2013, is fighting for another go in Washington this General Election to be held on November 8.
Endorsing the Democratic candidate, The Sacramento Bee said on October 22 that the son of Indian migrants “is a hardworking and thoughtful member of Congress who has shown he is willing to find common ground with Republicans”.
The former teacher is poised against another popular local man, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott R. Jones who is from the Republican Party.
“Although Jones could be a capable representative, Bera has an unusually impressive résumé. As a physician, Bera can offer expertise and insight into the Affordable Care Act and how best to mend it, an issue that should be a focus of the next Congress,” an editorial of the newspaper argued in favour of the second generation Indian.
California, the US state with the highest population, has two senators in the Senate and 53 representatives in the United States House of Representatives.
The newspaper called on voters to return Mr Bera to the Congress, “We recommend voters return the Elk Grove Democrat to Washington for a third term.”
The newspaper further said that the 7th Congressional District currently held by Mr Bera is one of few seats where Republicans believe they can beat Democrats and therefore, faces a ‘tough challenge” from his contender, Sheriff Jones.
The newspaper is owned by The McClatchy Company, reputed to be the “third-largest newspaper corporation in the country in terms of circulation” – not just some nondescript country town newspaper obviously.
Mr Bera is the third Indian-American in the US Congress.
Dalip Singh Saund was the first Indian to be elected to the House of Representatives. The Punjab-born was in office for three terms – from 3 January 1957 to 3 January 1963.
Elected first in 2004, Piyush “Bobby” Jindal became the second Indian American to be in the House of Representatives.
The Republican Congressman later became the first Indian American to be the governor of a US state. Although he failed at his first attempt in 2003, he ran for governor once again in 2007 and won becoming the first Indian American to be elevated to the high office – at just 36 years of age.