Susheela Jayapal, born in India and sister of Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, has formally joined the congressional race in the US state of Oregon. The former county commissioner announced her candidacy on Wednesday, aiming to succeed longtime Democratic Party Representative Earl Blumenauer, according to the Oregonlive news portal.
In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Susheela Jayapal emphasised the need for a progressive leader in Washington who can uphold Congressman Blumenauer’s legacy, confront MAGA ideologues, and work effectively for their community while staying true to their values.
“Today, I’m proud to announce my candidacy for Congress,” expressed the 61-year-old Democrat.
The former lawyer tendered her resignation from the state’s Multnomah County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday morning, marking the beginning of her congressional campaign.
“It’s about certainly continuing the work that I’ve been doing at the county on local issues, addressing the homelessness crisis, public safety, wages for front line workers, all of these really important issues,” Ms Jayapal stated in the report.
She further expressed her intent to tackle broader national issues in Congress, emphasising her commitment to combating what she described as an extremist ideology takeover within the Republican Party and standing up for democracy and individual rights.
Her sister, Pramila, who serves as the representative for the 7th Congressional District of Washington State, endorsed Susheela’s Congressional bid. “My incredible sister Susheela just launched her campaign for Congress!” she enthusiastically shared in a post on X.
Susheela Jayapal, whose campaign refrains from accepting donations from corporate PACs, is relying on grassroots support to fuel her bid for Congress.
With nearly two decades dedicated to serving on nonprofit boards, Jayapal was elected to represent North and Northeast Portland on the Multnomah County Commission in 2018, as reported by CNN.
Despite her relatively brief political career spanning less than five years, Jayapal asserts that her achievements as a county commissioner and the trust she has cultivated with community leaders through her commissioner role and nonprofit board involvement have equipped her to effectively represent Portland in Congress.
According to her campaign, Susheela Jayapal is committed to being a steadfast progressive voice, advocating for the well-being and safety of their community, defending abortion rights, challenging major polluters to combat climate change, and standing firm against election deniers to safeguard democracy. Having grown up in India, Singapore, and Indonesia, Jayapal pursued her higher education at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where she majored in Economics.
Following her graduation with a law degree from the University of Chicago, Susheela Jayapal embarked on a legal career, initially practising as an attorney in private practice. Later, she assumed the role of general counsel for Adidas America. During her tenure, she held the distinction of being the sole woman and the sole person of colour in senior leadership, as outlined by her campaign.