Rep. Ami Bera wins re-election, sets new record for #AAPI in Congress

Representative Ami Bera lost his re-election campaign last night.
Despite trailing his opponent after polls cast on Election Day were tallied, Representative Ami Bera won his re-election campaign after thousands of provisional ballots were hand-counted in the two weeks following Election Eve.

Yep, my Midterm Elections wrap-up post was wrong on Bera’s race. Bera, who was running for re-election while holding what some analysts called one of the most vulnerable seats for Democrats nationwide, ended November 4th trailing his Republican challenger Doug Ose by a razor-thin margin of about 3000 votes.

However, in the two weeks since Election eve, thousands of provisional ballots were hand-counted, and as those votes were added to the tally, the margin between the two candidates narrowed and eventually Bera took the lead. By yesterday, Bera’s vote count surpassed Ose by 1432 votes, a difference that the Associated Press concluded was too wide for Ose to overcome with the remaining 4300 provisional ballots still uncounted. With that news, Doug Ose issued a written statement to the Bera campaign conceding the race.

Reports KCRA, Ose wrote in his statement:

“Let me begin by saying that I celebrate the fact that our institutions and our laws provide us a system whereby elections can be peacefully resolved,” Ose said. “I congratulate Congressman Bera on his victory.”

The campaign, which included attacks on Bera’s background as originating from the private sector was the most expensive campaign of the 2014 Midterm elections cycle: a reported $20 million was spent in the race, two-thirds of which were spent by groups outside the district.

With his re-election, Ami Bera remains the lone Indian-American Representative in Congress, but joins 11 other AAPI Representatives to be elected or re-elected to the House this year. This represents a record-breaking high for the number of voting AAPI Representatives in Congress who will serve the upcoming two-year term in the House at 12 — or 2.7% of the House; an additional two non-voting Representatives were also elected who are AAPI.

AAPIs are currently 5.6% of the United States.

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