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California Primaries: Pakistani American Asif Mahmood Wins Democratic Nomination for U.S. Congress From 40th District

California Primaries: Pakistani American Asif Mahmood Wins Democratic Nomination for U.S. Congress From 40th District

  • Reps. Ami Bera and Ro Khanna advanced in re-election bids even as several South Asian American candidates vying for U.S. Congress were unsuccessful.

Pakistani American physician Asif Mahmood is poised to win the Democratic nomination for a U.S. Congress seat from the newly drawn 40th Congressional District. As of June 8 afternoon, Mahmood was in the lead with 35,893 or 39.8 percent of the votes, while Republican incumbent Young Kim was trailing in the second spot with 30,899 or 34.3 percent. 

The Orange County Register predicts that Mahmood and Kim will face off in November. Mahmood is the only Democrat in the campaign and was expected to get the most votes, the Orange County Register says, attributing it to early mail-in votes that have tended to lean blue. The CA-40 race is also one of the few swing seats in the country and could help determine which party ultimately controls Congress next year.

The new 40th District covers eastern Orange County, from Yorba Linda to Rancho Mission Viejo, plus Chino Hills in San Bernardino County. “It was formed during redistricting in December, but includes portions of two former districts (CA-39 and CA-45) that have been swing seats in the past two elections,” as reported by the Orange County Register. Voter registration in the majority White district shows Republicans with a 5.6-point advantage over Democrats. 

A practicing physician for internal medicine and pulmonary diseases at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena since 2000, he was previously chief of staff at the Greater El Monte Hospital. Mahmood is a member of the board of directors of the East Los Angeles College Foundation and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, United States Western Region.

Mahmood, a Democrat, finished third in his 2018 run for California Insurance Commissioner, “receiving 13.5 percent of the vote and raising more than $2 million in that election cycle,” The Orange County Register reported. Gov. Gavin Newsom subsequently appointed him to the Medical Board of California.

He also works with nonprofit groups across Southern California, including UNICEF and volunteers at a free clinic. He also serves on the California Medical Board and on the board of the Valley Rescue Mission, the largest homeless shelter in Southern California. And he is chair of the Organization for Social Media Safety which fights cyber-bullying. 

He earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Sindh Medical College, now known as Jinnah Sindh Medical University in Karachi. He is married to Noshaba Mahmoud and they have three children.

The Incumbents

Meanwhile, incumbent Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) advanced in his re-election bid to the U.S. House in California’s 17th Congressional district. His Republican challenger Ritesh Tandon also advanced. Khanna won 65 percent of the votes compared to Tandon’s 25 percent. “Thank you for your support, votes, and faith in our campaign.” Tandon wrote on Facebook. “I will never stop fighting for our community — we are on to November.” However, this is not the first time that Khanna and Tandon faced off in a general election. In 2020, Khanna easily defeated Tandon by 74 for his third consecutive win. 

Similarly, longtime Congressman Ami Bera was also successful in his re-election bid. It is not yet clear which GOP challenger he will face off with. As of June 8 afternoon, Bera had 55 percent of the votes, while Republican Air Force Sergeant Tamika Hamilton had 16 percent and Republican Citrus Heights City Councilmember Bret Daniels had 12 percent. While Bera is seeking to represent the 6th District, he lives in the 7th District, a seat the incumbent and fellow Democratic Rep. Doris Matsui is seeking. Federal rules do not require congressional representatives to live within the boundaries they represent. The 6th district includes northern Sacramento County and Rancho Cordova.

In the 16th Congressional District, Democrat Rishi Kumar is poised for a November rematch with Rep. Anna Eshoo. The Indian American is trailing on the second spot, ahead of six other candidates vying for Eshoo’s congressional seat. Early results showed Eshoo with an overwhelming lead, as Kumar trailed her with 15 percent of the votes. 

See Also

The Challengers

Pakistani American attorney Shahid Buttar, a Democrat, is still in the contest for the race for the U.S. Congress from the newly redrawn 11th District which belongs to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has advanced in her re-election bid with 71.4 percent of the votes, with the second spot still up for grabs. As of June 8 afternoon, San Francisco Republican Party Chairman John Dennis had 12.4 percent of the votes, and Buttar had 8.5 percent, according to the New York Post. 

Not only South Asian American candidates tasted success at the June 7 primary. Engineer and entrepreneur Shrina Kurani, a Democrat, was unsuccessful in her bid for the U.S. Congress from the newly drawn 41st Congressional District. The 28-year-old came in third, with 11,616 votes, or 14.9 percent. g 15-term incumbent Republican Rep. Ken will face off in November with Democrat Will Rollins, as reported by the Desert Sun. 

In the East Bay, Republican Sri “Steve” Iyer of Pleasanton and Major Singh, who ran with no party affiliation, fell way short in their bid for the .US. House of Representatives from Congressional District 14. As of June 8 afternoon, Iyer had 8.2 percent of the votes, and Singh had 2.2 percent, with 50 percent of the precincts reporting. Incumbent Eric Swalwell won the Democratic nomination for his re-election bid. The second spot on the November ballot could be anyone’s game, with Republicans Alison Hayden and Tom Wong neck and neck, at 10.6 percent and 10.4 percent respectively, the reported. 

Luck didn’t favor Harpreet Singh Chima and Khalid Jeffrey Jafri for the U.S, Congress bid from District 9. The crowded field is being led by Democrat Josh Harder and Republican Tom Patti with 44.71 percent and 24.07 percent respectively, according to Chima has 7.36 percent and Jafri has 4.16 percent. 

In the Lieutenant Governor’s race, Indian American Mohammad Arif, a candidate of the Peace and Freedom Party was placed seventh among eight contenders for the post with 2.13 percent of the votes, as reported by KTLA TV. Incumbent Democrat Eleni Kounalakis will move forward to November with 1,729,315 or 52.11 percent of the votes. She is expected to face off with Republican candidate Angela Underwood Jacobs, who is in second place with 660,856 or 19.91 percent of the votes. 

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