Washington: Hours before the crucial US mid-term polls, Congressman Ami Bera's re-election campaign got a shot in the arm with First Lady Michelle Obama appealing to voters in a California seat, where the Indian-American is locked in a tight contest, to vote for him.
Bera is the only Indian-American in the current Congress and third ever person from the community to be elected to the US House of Representatives. He was elected from California's seventh Congressional district with a thin margin in the 2012 general elections.
49-year-old Bera is facing a tough competition from Republican Doug Ose, a businessman who served three terms in Congress through 2005.
The high profile endorsement from Michelle Obama comes days after former US President Bill Clinton canvassed for Bera in his constituency. The two campaigns have given Bera a clear edge over Ose.
"Hi, this is Michelle Obama, and I'm calling because Barack and I are counting on you to support Ami Bera and the Democratic ticket this November 4," she said in a recorded phone message.
"In an election this close, your vote is more important than ever before. We can't risk having more out of touch folks coming to Congress, just because a handful of Democratic voters stayed home," she said.
"Your vote for Ami Bera will make a real difference in supporting our President. And it will help us create good jobs, guarantee equal pay for women, and build better schools for all our children.
"You've been one of our reliable supporters in the past, and I hope you will make your voice heard again this year. Thanks so much," Michelle said in the phone message which was released yesterday.