Updated Nov 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Where Asian Americans made history in the midterm elections

Photo of Aruna Miller smiling while speaking from a podium at a campaign rally

Aruna Miller, Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate for Maryland, speaks during a Democratic National Committee event in Bowie, Maryland on Nov. 7. Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Several Asian Americans made history across the U.S. during the midterm elections Tuesday night.

Driving the news: Among them are Shri Thanedar (D), who will be the first Indian American representative for Michigan, and Aruna Miller (D), who will be the first immigrant and first Asian American elected to statewide office in Maryland.

  • In Rhode Island, Chinese American Victoria Gu (D) and Japanese American Linda Ujifusa (D) became the first Asians elected to the state legislature.
  • Texas’ Salman Bhojani (D), a Pakistani American corporate lawyer, became the first Muslim and first South Asian ever elected to the state legislature.
  • Fellow Democrat Suleman Lalani, a doctor who advocates for health care reform, will share the title of Texas’ first Muslim state legislator with Bhojani after winning his own race.

Why it matters: Though the number of Asian Americans elected to Congress has steadily increased through the years and is currently at a record high, they remain vastly underrepresented in politics.

The big picture: A 2021 report found that Asian American and Pacific Islander elected officials make up 0.9% of elected leaders in the U.S., even though they account for 6.1% of the population.

Editor's note: This article was updated to include Salman Bhojani and Suleman Lalani.

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