Indian-American Pramila Jayapal is set to become the first South Asian woman to be elected to the United States Congress.
Jayapal, 51, is running for the seventh Congressional District of Washington State, which entails Seattle and the neighbouring areas. Jayapal is endorsed by the Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who was a Democratic US presidential aspirant for the 2016 elections.
According to the recent polls, Jayapal had a significant lead in double digits against her contender Brady Pineto Walkinshaw. She defeated Walkinshaw in the primaries by a substantial margin. Jayapal will now replace Congressman Jim McDermott in the US House of Representatives.
While launching her campaign in January this year, Jayapal had said that this is a time for a progressive fighter. "I'm running for Congress because now is the time for a bold progressive fighter," Jayapal had said. The Congress aspirant is likely to enter US Congress in her first try.
Besides Sanders, Jayapal has been endorsed by 21 sitting Congressman, including the only Indian-American in the current Congress, Ami Bera. Several women's groups like Emily's List, Naral, Planned Parenthood and other major labour unions are also endorsing Jayapal.
Jayapala, earlier in the year, announced that if she wins, her first bill to be introduced in the Congress would be for gun violence protection, tuition-free community mental health, transportation and funding for basic education.
She was also felicitated by the White House with "Champion of Change" award in 2012, in recognition of her community work with immigrants in the states. Emily's List described Jayapala as a "progressive champion and first generation America."
She believes that as an Asian woman from an Indian background, she could offer a different perspective in the US Congress.
"It is a different understanding that we bring. The under-representation is part and parcel that our communities of colour have not had the same opportunities," Jayapala told North West Asian Newsweekly in an interview.