Indian-American Raj Mukherji (28), a candidate for the New Jersey legislature, struck gold on Tuesday night as a raft of gubernatorial, mayoral and local elections were held across a number of U.S. states.
Mr. Mukherji, earlier the Deputy Mayor of the Jersey City and Chair of its Housing Authority is a Democrat and served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s military intelligence wing.
His victory comes on the back of significant Democratic electoral successes elsewhere in the U.S., including wins by Bill de Blasio, the “audacious liberal” who has become the next mayor of New York City and Terry McAuliffe, who scooped up the gubernatorial seat in “purple” Virginia.
The single major Republican victory belonged to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who got re-elected to the top job in his state. Especially in the wake of relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy Mr. Christie has strengthened his credentials as a man willing to work across party lines to deliver public services.
Reflecting his broad popularity and growing prospects as a Republican presidential nominee in the 2016 elections Mr. Christie won more than 45 per cent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29, nearly 30 per cent of self-described liberals, roughly 50 per cent of the Hispanic vote and 20 per cent of the African-American vote.
In New York pundits described Mr. de Blasio’s win as a shot in the arm for the middle classes and the “latest sign of the shift towards a new populist left in America,” as his rise was built on a promise to redress the ‘tale of two cities’ inequalities among New Yorkers. While former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was credited with making the city safer, tensions over ethnic stereotyping and police stop-and-frisk policies in the city have been mounting in recent years.
In Virginia, the first swing state to hold an election after the Affordable Care Act website’s troubled rollout last month, Obamacare was said to have contributed to the result being closer than it would have been otherwise. With Mr. McAuliffe narrowly defeating conservative Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli 53 per cent of Virginia voters said they opposed President Barack Obama’s health care law, and close to 80 per cent of these voters were said to have voted for Mr. Cuccinelli.
Numerous other states, including Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts and Washington state held either mayoral races or conducted ballots on state issues on matters such as marijuana taxation and even the creation of new states.