San Francisco, November 10 (NIA): In the Bay Area’s marquee congressional race, Fremont Democrat Rohit (Ro) Khanna ousted Rep. Mike Honda from the South Bay seat the incumbent has held for the past 16 years.
Khanna becomes the third Indo-American to make it to the US House of Representatives in the November 8 2016 elections, the others being Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jayapal. Kamala Devi Harris made it to the US Senate. Khanna is thus the fourth Indian to make it to Capitol Hill this time.
The race was a repeat of their 2014 contest, when Honda narrowly won over Ro Khanna. This year, by contrast, the challenger brought momentum into the fall campaign with a first-place finish over Honda in the June primary.
Khanna’s maternal grandfather, Amaranth Vidyalankar, was part of Mahatma Gandhi’s independence movement working with Lala Lajpat Rai, and spent years in jail in the pursuit of human rights and freedom.
Khanna’s parents emigrated to the United from India before his birth. His father is a chemical engineer who graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and the University of Michigan, and his mother is a former substitute school teacher. Khanna was born in Philadelphia, Penn, in 1976. He received his B.A. degree in economics with honors from the University of Chicago in 1998, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He attended Yale Law School, receiving his law degree in 2001. He specializes in Intellectual Property Law.
As a student at the University of Chicago, Khanna worked for William D.Burns, walking precincts during Barack Obama’s first campaign for the Illinois Senate in 1996. Khanna interned for Jack Quinn when Quinn served as the Chief of Staff for Vice President Al Gore.
President Obama appointed Khanna to a role in the US Department of Commerce in 2009. In his role as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Khanna led international trade missions and worked to increase United States exports. He was later appointed to the White House Business Council. Khanna resigned from the Department of Commerce in August 2011 to join Wilson Sansoni Goodrich and Rosati firm located in Silicon Valley. His pro bono legal activity includes work with the Mississippi Center for Justice on several contractor fraud cases on behalf of Hurricane Katrina victims and co-authoring an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in the Mt. Holly case to allow for race discrimination suits under the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Khanna teaches Economics at Stanford University and law at the Santa Clara University School of Law, and has taught American Jurisprudence at San Francisco State University. He wrote a book on American competitiveness in business, Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America’s Future, which was published in 2012.