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Last Updated Sunday July 05 2020 01:50 PM IST

Indian-American woman set to make it to US Congress

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 Indian-American woman set to make it to US Congress Hiral Tipirneni | Photo: Facebook

Washington: An Indian-American physician, who narrowly lost in the recent special elections in Arizona, is confident that she will get the additional votes in the November general polls to make it to the US House of Representatives.

A victory from Arizona's 8th congressional district, a Republican stronghold, would make the 50-year-old Hiral Tipirneni only the second Indian-American woman after Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal to be elected to the US House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the US Congress.

"I expect we're going to have success in the next one," Tipirneni, a Mumbai-born Gujarati, said.

In the April special elections for the 8th Congressional District of Arizona, Tipirneni lost by 8,681 votes or 4.8 percentage of the votes.

The seat is considered to be a Republican stronghold wherein US president Donald Trump won by more than 21 percentage of the votes in the November 2016 presidential elections.

"We had the highest crossover percentage for Democrat ever in Arizona," she said, referring to the massive 16 percentage point swing of voters against the Republican party.

"I overwhelmingly won the independents. So, there's no reason that we can't make up for that last few percentage points," Tipirneni said who was in Washington DC recently, taking some time off from her busy campaign schedule.

She said she was "proud first-generation immigrant and a Gujarati".

Tipirneni's family immigrated to the US from India when she was three years old. While she grew up in Ohio, she has lived in Arizona for over 21 years and earned doctor of medicine from Northeast Ohio Medical University.

"My parents came with that dream of giving their children a better chance, bigger life, more opportunities and some greater experiences than they had. My parents worked very hard to make sure that their kids had a better life," she said.

"I'm very proud to say that I'm now running for Congress," Tipirneni said.

Tipirneni said she decided to run for elections, shortly after the November 2016 election.

"I was compelled to do more. I just knew I had to do more. I didn't know what that would look like. I decided, I had a skill set that I thought could work as an advocate, as a legislator, speaking and fighting for people who don't otherwise have their own voice," she said.

Tipirneni said her top priorities were healthcare, education and economic opportunity.

"But on top of it I'd say, working on things like comprehensive immigration reform and making sure that our country is that same safe, prosperous place that I grew up in, that my parents brought me," she said.

"I want to make sure that the same opportunities are there for generations to come. That's my responsibility," Tipirneni said.

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