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‘Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’ Endorses Indian American Candidates for Virginia State Seats

India-West - 2019-09-10


By India-West Staff Reporter.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Aug. 15 announced its first round of 2019 political candidate endorsements, stating its support for various individuals running for Virginia state-level seats.

In the Virginia House, the coalition endorsed 27 individuals from districts spanning the state. Among those endorsed included Indian American Suhas Subramanyam, who is vying for a seat in the 87th Legislative District.

Subramanyam won his Democratic primary handily in June with 47.3 percent of the vote in the four-candidate race.

The Indian American has dedicated his life to serving his community and solving some of the country’s biggest challenges. While at Tulane University and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, his community service work in the aftermath of the storm propelled him into a life of community service. He helped organize volunteers to rebuild and revitalize communities affected by the storm and, as president of the college's environmental club, pushed local officials to prioritize environmental standards during the rebuild. Subramanyam graduated summa cum laude and turned down lucrative corporate opportunities to help get Democratic leaders elected.

He has since worked tirelessly to improve the health and prosperity of all Virginians and Americans. He served on Capitol Hill as a health care and veterans policy aide, where he worked to expand and improve health care access to millions of Americans and drafted legislation to increase job opportunities and funding for veterans.

He later earned his law degree with honors at Northwestern University School of Law, volunteering at the Center for Wrongful Convictions. There, he was part of the legal team that freed a man who had spent 21 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He also clerked for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he helped re-introduce the DREAM Act and worked on criminal justice reforms.

Subramanyam serves as a volunteer firefighter at Ashburn Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department, and he is an active member of the Rotary Club of Ashburn. He was also appointed by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to the Loudoun Health Council, where he works to address some of the most pressing health care issues in Northern Virginia.


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Successful Indian American Candidates Suhas Subramanyam, Ghazala Hashmi Advance in Virginia Primary Elections

India-West - 2019-06-12


By Giovanni Albanese Jr.

Several Indian Americans were vying for seats in Virginia in its primary elections held June 11. Among the victorious candidates were Suhas Subramanyam and Ghazala Hashmi, who were seeking to advance in the Democratic primaries for the 87th House of Delegates District and 10th State Senate District, respectively.

Indian American Suhas Subramanyam has secured the Democratic nomination for the 87th District of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Subramanyam won his Democratic primary handily with 47.3 percent of the vote. Other candidates in the four-candidate race included Hassan Ahmad (23.2 percent), Johanna Gusman (18.7 percent) and Akshay Bhamidipati (10.8 percent), who finished second through fourth, respectively.

Subramanyam advances to the Nov. 5 general election taking on Republican Bill Drennan.

The Indian American has dedicated his life to serving his community and solving some of the country’s biggest challenges. His family's story in America began in 1979, when Subramanyam’s mother, a native of Bangalore, immigrated to the United States. She landed at Dulles Airport to start a new life where she would later become a physician and raise a family. She united with the candidate’s father, who was born in India and raised by the widow of a deceased army veteran. Together, they pursued the American dream and passed along values that Subramanyam holds today: serve your community, succeed with hard work, and empower those without a voice.


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Suhas Subramanyam wins Democratic primary for 87th Virginia House district

American Bazaar - 2019-06-12


By AB Wire

He is one of the two Indian American Democrats who will be on ballots in November, with a chance to become the first Indian Americans to serve in Virginia state legislature.

Indian American Suhas Subramanyam has secured the Democratic nomination for the 87th District of the Virginia House of Delegates.

The former White House technology policy advisor won a four-way race by polling more than 47 percent of the votes. He received 3,050 votes, while his nearest opponent Hassan Ahmad, a Pakistani American, polled 1,500 votes.

Another Indian American who ran for the district, Akshay Bhamidipati, finished third.

“I’m so thankful for the hard work our team and volunteers put in,” Subramanyam told The American Bazaar on Tuesday night after coasting to victory. “We showed tonight that what matters most is giving people a voice and addressing the issues that matter to them. I thank the other candidates who ran and look forward to to continuing our momentum in the November general election.


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Torian, Subramanyam, Carter, Rashid win in Democratic primaries for delegate, state senate races

Prince William Times - 2019-06-11


By Staff Reports

Incumbent Del. Luke Torian easily defeated his challenger in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the 52nd District House of Delegates seat.

With all precincts reporting, Torian, Prince William County’s most senior Democratic state lawmaker, defeated a challenge from newcomer Kevin Wade with 76.33 percent of the vote.

In the 87th District, which includes parts of western Prince William and Loudoun counties, four newcomers were vying to replace Bell, who is running for state Senate.

Suhas Subramanyam, a technology and regulatory attorney, came out on top with 66.52 percent of the vote. Johanna Gusman, a human rights attorney, took 23.88 percent of the vote, followed by Hassan Ahmad, an immigration lawyer, with 6.25 percent of the vote and Akshay Bhamidipati, a scientist, with 3.35 percent.


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Former technology policy adviser to Obama administration wins Va. House of Delegates primary

WUSA9 - 2019-06-11


By Samantha Kubota

Suhas Subramanyam clinched the Democratic nomination Tuesday night.

Suhas Subramanyam won the Democratic primary for the 87th House of Delegates district Tuesday night. He is a former adviser to the Obama administration and a first-generation American.

The 87th House of Delegates district straddles Prince William and Loudoun Counties. It's been held a Democrat since 2013.

The current delegate, John Bill, is leaving the post to run for the state senate.

The four candidates that ran to succeed Bell reflect the changing community surrounding Dulles Airport, which includes many south Asian and Latino residents.

Tuesday night, Suhas Subramanyam clinched the nomination for that district.


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Subramanyam wins Democratic nomination in 87th House District

Loudoun Times-Mirror - 2019-06-11


By Trevor Baratko

Democrat Suhas Subramanyam on Tuesday claimed his party's nomination in the 87th House of Delegates District.

Subramanyam, an attorney and government consultant, topped three challengers – Hassan Ahmad, Akshay Bhamidipati and Johanna Gusman – by taking more than 47 percent of the vote. Ahmad came in second with 23 percent.

“Together we knocked more than 50,000 doors and had incredibly important conversations with people about commonsense gun reforms, relief from traffic and high tolls, the rising costs of health care, fully funding our schools, climate change and so much more,” Subramanyam said on social media Wednesday.

Subramanyam, who lists health care, education and transportation as key points of his campaign, secured the endorsement of current 87th District Del. John Bell (D) in the primary. Bell is running for the state Senate in the 13th District this November, where he will face Loudoun County Supervisor Geary Higgins.


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Setting the Ballot: Voters Head to the Polls in Primaries

Loudoun Now - 2019-06-07


By LoudounNow

As a further ramp up to a busy campaign season, most Loudoun voters on Tuesday will be asked to head to the polls to decide the final spots on November’s ballot.

Democrats will see most of the action in the primary voting, but Republicans won’t be left on the sidelines, as two sitting county supervisors battle for a chance to fill the seat of retiring state Senator Dick Black in the 13th District.

Three Democratic incumbents face intra-party challenges and four Democrats are vying for the party’s nomination to fill the 87th House District seat after two-term incumbent John Bell opted to make a Senate run. Additionally, Democrats countywide will choose between two candidates in their attempt to win the county sheriff’s race for the first time in three decades.

Efforts to enact new gun controls and to protect pro-choice rights have been touted by the Democratic candidates seeking the nomination for General Assembly seats, particularly after several state legislatures moved to restrict or eliminate abortions and after Friday’s mass shooting at a Virginia Beach civic building.

In the state Senate, Barbara A. Favola (D), of Arlington, has represented the 31st District since 2011. She is being challenged by Arlington civic activist Niccole Merlene. The district stretches from the Pentagon to Lowes Island, with only a few voting precincts in Loudoun. As of June 4, there were no other candidates for the seat, meaning the primary outcome could decide the race. The deadline for a challenger to file is June 11 at 7 p.m.

In the 33rd Senate District, Jennifer Boysko (D), a Herndon resident who served three years in the House of Delegates, was elected to the seat in January after incumbent Jennifer Wexton was elected to Congress. She is challenged by Sharafat Hussain, a newspaper publisher and party activist from Leesburg. The district covers most of eastern Loudoun and stretches into Leesburg, covering the northern side of Rt. 7 in between. The winner will face Suzanne Fox, a Leesburg Town Council member, who is the Republican nominee.

The other contested nomination for a state Senate seat is on the Republican side. The prospect of replacing Black in the 13th district—one of only three Loudoun General Assembly seats still held by GOP representatives—prompted two supervisors to give up their seats on the county board to pursue opportunities in Richmond. Geary Higgins, of Waterford, has represented the Catoctin District since 2011 and previously served on the county School Board. Ron Meyer was elected to represent the Broad Run District in 2015. The winner will face Democratic nominee John Bell and Jasmine Moawad-Barrientos, running as an Independent candidate, in November.

At the local level, Democrats countywide will be asked to choose their nominee for county sheriff. The race features Chris Harmison, a 40-year law enforcement veteran, and Justin Hannah, a defense department contractor who pulled out of the crowded 87th House District race in March to pursue the local office. The winner will face two-term incumbent Mike Chapman, the Republican nominee.

Finally, first-term incumbent Supervisor Koran Saines, the first Democrat to win the Sterling District seat on the Board of Supervisors in 16 years, faces a primary challenge from attorney Ibrahim Moiz.


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Voters Get Ready For ‘One Of The Most Diverse Tickets Virginia Has Ever Seen’

WAMU 88.5 - 2019-06-06


By Jordan Pascal

Anyone wondering what the future holds for the Democratic Party might find a few answers in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Four young candidates are running in an open primary in the 87th House District, which covers much of Loudoun as well as a portion of Prince William County. Each has been motivated in some way by the actions of the Trump Administration, and each is running on a key issue, from health care to immigration to gun safety. And, if elected, many would carry superlatives: the first Indian-American delegate, the first Pakistani-American delegate, the youngest delegate, the third Muslim delegate or to serve in the House.

Representing A Changing Loudoun County

The contenders in the 87th are all first-time candidates, but none of them can avoid politics in their day jobs:

  • Johanna Gusman is a human rights lawyer who once was arrested at a protest during the confirmation hearings for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
  • Suhas Subramanyam is a lawyer and former Capitol Hill and Obama administration policy analyst who now advises nonprofits.
  • Hassan Ahmad is an immigration attorney who felt compelled to run after witnessing the effects of Trump’s travel ban at Dulles International Airport.
  • Akshay Bhamidipati is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University and is going into cancer research.

“This has to be one of the most diverse tickets Virginia has ever has ever seen and that is something to be celebrated,” Gusman says.

Many young people are more interested in politics in the Trump era, says political scientist Rachel Bitecofer of Christopher Newport University. We’ve seen this on the national level, with a wide array of candidates seeking office in last year’s national midterms. Now we’re seeing it on the local level.

“There’s just not enough entry space for people to get involved,” Bitecofer says.

Most of this year’s primaries in Virginia drew two candidates, and some have three. The 87th District is the only race to have four.

“I think we’re finally heading to a more representative democracy when our legislators start to look more like their constituents,” Bhamidipati says.

This is especially true in Northern Virginia, where 2017 ushered in new faces like Del. Hala Ayala, among the first Hispanic women elected in the Commonwealth, and Del. Danica Roem, the first openly transgender candidate elected to a state legislature.

The exurban 87th has gone back and forth between favoring Republicans and Democrats. But like much of Northern Virginia, it has trended blue in recent years.

Loudoun County has seen significant population changes recently. It’s one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, and one of the richest. Nearly a third of residents are foreign-born.

The candidates have all found some early financial support. They’ve each raised between $30,000 and $200,000. Suhas Subramanyam has pulled in the most at $190,000, and he’s earned the endorsement of the district’s current delegate, John Bell, who is stepping down to run for a vacant state senate seat.

Each of the candidates also has a backstory that speaks to Loudoun and to the national political climate.


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Meet Suhas Subramanyam, Indian American Democrat running for Virginia House of Delegates

The American Bazaar - 2019-05-30


By Feras Ismail

With the Virginia primary less than two weeks away, the campaign of Indian American Suhas Subramanyam, who is running for the 87th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, is in the home stretch.

“[Our] team is working around the clock, knocking doors, making calls, and writing postcards to voters in the 87th District!” the former Obama administration alumnus said in an email sent to supporters on Tuesday, the day after the Memorial Day.

Subramanyam is one of the four Democrats — and one of the two Indian Americans — vying to succeed Democratic incumbent John Bell, who is running for the Virginia State Senate from District 13. The primary is on June 11.

Subramanyam entered the race on August 28, 2018, one day after Bell announced his Senate run.

The district consists of parts of Sterling — where Subramanyam and his family live — and also includes Ashburn, South Riding, Aldie, and Haymarket, all parts of Loudoun County and Prince William County. It also includes the Dulles International Airport.

Loudoun is the richest county in the United States and Prince William is the 19th richest. Both have significant share of Indian American voters and the candidate is counting on them.

If elected, Subramanyam would become the first Indian American to serve in the Virginia legislature.

“The Indian American community makes up a large portion of the state’s and district’s population, and I believe that our community deserves someone in power that can stand up for our unique experiences and challenges,” he told the American Bazaar. “As a first generation Indian American, this country has given my family so many opportunities that we would not have otherwise had. I want to ensure that every family has those same opportunities.”

Bread and butter issues are at the heart of Subramanyam’s campaign. He has vowed to address traffic and infrastructure challenges, improve schools, and combat inequality in District 87, among other things.

“I am running because we have important decisions to make about the future of our community and country, and I want voters, not special interests and powers that seek to divide us, to make them,” said Subramanyam, who is a volunteer firefighter. “I have spent much of my career empowering those without a voice, and I’m ready to take that experience to Richmond to help us all create a better future for our families and community.”


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Support the Renewables First Act: Clean Energy Legislation For the People, By the People

Blue Virginia - 2018-12-13


By Zero Carbon Virginia: Harrison Crecraft, Leslie Emery, Scott Emery, Nathan Soules, Suhas Subramanyam, Sarah Svoboda, Karel Svoboda

Not long ago, a group of us came together in a living room in Loudoun County to discuss our concerns about climate change and what we could possibly do to make a difference.

At the time, Dominion Energy had announced its intention to construct eight new power plants throughout the Commonwealth, which would lock Virginians into more than 35 years of paying for fossil-fueled utilities. Meanwhile, given recent reports that we might not have 20 years to correct course, we knew we needed to focus on the future and work towards building environmental policy that created security for our fellow citizens and our climate.

We decided to form Zero Carbon Virginia, an organization of concerned citizens devoted to bringing Virginia’s energy industry into the 21st century. We moved forward by learning the legislative process, gathering input from all stakeholders, and joining forces with Del. David Reid (D-Ashburn) and Del. Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax).

The result of this collaboration is The Renewables First Act (HB 1686). The bill places a moratorium on all new fossil fuel capacity construction until renewable energy generation facilities with a capacity of at least 5,500 megawatts are in operation. This threshold is considered “in the public interest” by the Grid Transformation and Security Act and is also well within our reach in the near future.


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Indian American Entrepreneur, Volunteer Firefighter Runs for Seat in Virginia House of Delegates

Sunita Sohrabji, India-West - 2018-09-07


An Indian American entrepreneur who served in the White House during the Obama administration announced his candidacy Aug. 28 for the 87th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Democrat Suhas Subramanyam headed up the Technology Policy Task Force in the Obama Administration, and has since founded a technology-focused consultancy, S2 Impact. The candidate also served as a law clerk for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and helped Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and his staff to reintroduce the DREAM Act, which protects undocumented youth from deportation.

Subramanyam is running for the seat vacated by John Bell, a fellow Democrat, who announced a day earlier that he would run for the state Senate, challenging incumbent Sen. Dick Black who is characterized by local media as “far right.”


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Subramanyam to Run to Replace Del. Bell

Renss Greene, LoudounNow - 2018-08-28


Attorney and small business owner Suhas Subramanyam has announced he will run to fill the seat to be vacated as Del. John J. Bell (D-87) runs for state senate.

Subramanyam was a White House technology advisor during the Obama administration. Today, he is the founder and CEO of consulting firm S2 Impact LLC, based at his home in Ashburn. He advises companies and nonprofits on technology, government regulations, and economic empowerment.

“I have learned from my work in the community that the best policymaking comes from understanding the issues on a personal level,” Subramanyam stated. “Drawing from my service, I plan to continue Delegate John Bell’s work of fighting for affordable healthcare, making our region attractive to businesses, and making sure all Virginians are treated equally under the law.”

In addition to work in the legal field, he has formerly served as a Senate Judiciary Committee law clerk under Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin (D) and as a legislative assistant to Florida Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D).

He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Ashburn, the Loudoun Health Council, and serves as a volunteer firefighter with the Ashburn Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department. He is the son of Indian-American immigrants.


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