Washington: Dr Ami Bera, a Los Angeles-born physician son of Indian immigrants, has increased his lead in the race for California's 7th Congressional district bringing him a step closer to making history.

If he wins, Bera will only be the third Indian-American elected to the US House of Representatives after Dalip Singh Saund in 1952 and current Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal in 2004.

Running for the second time the seat around Sacramento, Bera was ahead by a razor-thin 184 votes against Republican incumbent Dan Lungren, with 88,406 votes to Lungren's 88,222 when the polling ended on Tuesday making the race too close to call.

With "tens of thousands of absentee and provisional ballots" still being counted three days after the Nov 6 election, Bera has increased his lead against Lungren to 1,779 votes, the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters announced on Friday.

"This is still a close race, but we remain confident that the voters of Sacramento County voted for new leadership that puts the people first," he said."The Sacramento County Registrar's Office staffs are working diligently and are committed to the integrity of our elections."

Bera is a first generation American whose candidacy has been endorsed by former President Bill Clinton. Five other Indian-American contestants have already lost their Congressional bids.



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