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Former Michigan State Senator Adam Hollier Challenges First-term Indian American Congressman Shri Thanedar

Former Michigan State Senator Adam Hollier Challenges First-term Indian American Congressman Shri Thanedar

  • The news comes at a time when the newest member of the ‘Samosa Caucus’ is facing criticism from fellow member of Congress Rashida Tlaib and a former staff member.

Former Michigan state senator and military veteran Adam Hollier wants to claim the U.S. Congress seat he lost last year to Rep. Shri Thanedar. So he’s challenging the first-term Indian American Congressman who represents the state’s 13th district. 

“We need a Congressman who delivers, and we need it right now. Sadly, out-of-touch multimillionaires like Shri Thanedar seem more interested in posting memes than delivering for the district, and we’ve had enough,” Hollier said. “I’ve spent my entire life taking on the big fights and delivering for the people who need it most – and that’s exactly what I’ll do in Congress.”

The India-born-and-raised entrepreneur and self-made millionaire defeated his Black Republican challenger Martell Bivings by a landslide from an overwhelmingly Democratic district. He became the newest member of the Samosa Caucus — and is the fifth Indian American member of the Congress — joining Reps. Ami Bera and Ro Khanna of California, Pramila Jayapal of Washington, and Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois.

Thanedar’s win was significant given that he is the first non-Black representative in over 70 years from the newly redrawn 13th District which covers most of Detroit, Hamtramck, the Grosse Pointes, and the Downriver communities. He occupies the seat held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Southfield, who retired at the end of her term. 

Axios notes that the criticism Thanedar is facing from fellow Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and former staff member Adam Y. Abusalah, “won’t help his re-election bid.” It began when Thanedar criticized Tlaib’s failure to mention Hamas’ violence in her initial statement. 

In response to the criticism of her comments, Tlaib, the only Palestinian member of Congress, railed against Thanedar. “While he is busy posting memes, his residents are calling my office asking for my assistance because he is absent from doing his job,” Tlaib said in a statement to the Detroit News. “He isn’t putting in the work of a public servant and is leaving his working-class communities across his district with no real advocate.”

A few days later, Abusalah, Thanedar’s former communications director, in a thread on X, slammed the congressman, calling him “a hallow, racist, unethical and a bad boss.”

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Earlier this month, Thanedar renounced his membership in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), for its unwillingness “to call out terrorism in all its forms.” After “the brutal terrorist attacks”  on Israel over the weekend, “which included the indiscriminate murder, rape, and kidnapping of innocent men, women, and children, I can no longer associate with an organization unwilling to call out terrorism in all its forms,” he said in a statement. 

He also drew flak from Indian American groups for forming a new Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain American Congressional Caucus that excludes minority and marginalized people. Launched in September, Thanedar said the caucus aims to combat religious discrimination, promote Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain community needs and foster interfaith dialogue. 

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