Indian American state Senator in New York Kevin Thomas has won his bid for re-election after all.
Previously, India-West reported Thomas had lost his race to Republican Dennis Dunne Sr. for the state Senate seat in the 6th Legislative District (see India-West article here: https://bit.ly/3lPaNvJ).
But as the absentee ballots began to roll in and be counted, Dunne’s 6-point lead began to shrink, with Thomas ultimately declaring himself the victor in the race.
When all the votes were counted, the incumbent received 75,749 votes for 50.57 percent of the vote; Dunne received 73,169 votes for 48.84 percent; and Libertarian Jonathan Gunther received 848 votes for .57 percent.
Thomas becomes the third Indian American across the state to win a state-level seat this election cycle, joining Jenifer Rajkumar, who won a seat in the 38th Assembly District; and Jeremy Cooney, who was victorious in the state Senate seat in the 56th Legislative District.
In 2018, Kevin Thomas, who immigrated to the U.S. when he was 10, became the first Indian American in New York’s history to serve in the state Senate. He became an appointee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to the New York State Advisory Committee. With Cooney now on the state Senate, that number has doubled in 2020.
“I am thrilled to congratulate Senator-elect Jeremy Cooney on his victory. This election cycle holds special significance for our Indian American community. In addition to electing Kamala Harris as the first woman, the first African American and the first Indian American to serve as vice president, we saw unprecedented numbers of South Asian candidates running for office across New York, and record voter turnout from the South Asian community,” Thomas, who currently serves as chairman of the Consumer Protection Committee and sits on the Judiciary, Finance, Banking, Aging, Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committees, said in a statement.
“This is a profound and inspirational moment for the Indian American community, both in New York and across the United States,” he said.