President Obama endorses Raja Krishnamoorthi in Congressional bid

President Obama endorses Raja Krishnamoorthi in Congressional bid

President Barack Obama has boosted the front-runner status of Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Indian-American candidate for the U.S. Congress from Illinois’ District 8, in the November 8 general election. “As the son of immigrants who worked their way into the middle-class, Raja understands both the challenges facing America’s working families and the opportunities their work makes possible,” President Obama said in a statement the White House sent to Krishnamoorthi. “I know he’ll fight hard in Congress to create more good jobs, empower more Americans to start businesses, and help working families afford to put their children through college,” the President added.

If elected, he will become the 2nd India-born Congressman after Dalip Singh Saund, D-California, who served in the House of Representatives 1957-1963. Two other Indian-Americans in Congress include former Representative and later Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal, who was born in Louisiana, and current incumbent Rep. Ami Bera, D-California, who is running for re-election. “I’m elated to have the President’s support,” Krishnamoorthi told the media. “He’s put working families front and center as President and that is what I intend to do if elected.”

Krishnamoorthi is pitted against his Republican rival, Peter DiCianni, a DuPage County board member, whose chances of winning are marginal. Roll Call magazine called Krishnamoorthi the “heavy favorite” to win the general election. But Krishnamoorthi said he is not taking anything for granted and said getting people to the polls was the most important factor in winning.

“We are working extremely hard to mobilize resources and volunteers to get out the vote,” he said. “We need to continue to fundraise. But we have demonstrated in the primary that with the requisite resources my team knows how to deploy them appropriately,” he added.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board wrote that the decision for Congress in the 8th District of Illinois “isn’t close at all” and that the “Tribune endorses [Raja] Krishnamoorthi” for the seat to represent the voters of the northwest Chicago suburbs.

“Krishnamoorthi’s amalgam of business and government experience makes him the best candidate, hands down,” the Chicago Tribune editorial board stated. “A Harvard Law School grad who lives in Schaumburg, he’s been a deputy state treasurer and an assistant attorney general. He’s president of two high-tech firms focused on military security and renewable energy. Those overlapping experiences give him a valuable perspective on how government policy affects businesses and workers.”

The Chicago Tribune endorsement makes it a clean sweep of Chicago-area newspaper endorsements for the progressive Democrat Krishnamoorthi following the earlier endorsements from the Chicago Sun-Times and the Daily Herald, the largest suburban newspaper in the Chicago area.

“We were impressed with Krishnamoorthi’s command of specifics about the tax code and the Affordable Care Act — and even more impressed when he emailed us after our meeting to correct himself on a minor point,” the Chicago Tribune editorial board wrote. “We like that he’s already scoped out opportunities to join in bipartisan initiatives on criminal justice reform and alternative energy. We agree with his maxim that government must do everything ‘faster, cheaper, smarter.’”

Raja Krishnamoorthi, the former deputy state treasurer of Illinois, an Indian American Democrat, who had lost to Rep. Tammy Duckworth in the Democratic primary for Congress in 2012, has announced his bid to join the fray to take the seat one more time. The 41-year-old Indian American has been campaigning to succeed Duckworth in Congress as the representative for the 8th District in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Duckworth has declared her candidacy to the US Senate from the state of Lincoln.

A resident of Schaumburg, Ill., where he lives with his wife, Priya, a doctor at a local hospital, and their sons Vijay, 9, and Vikram, 5, who attend public schools in school District 54, Krishnamoorthi is president of Sivananthan Labs and Episolar, small businesses selling products in the national security and renewable energy sectors.

In 2006, he was appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as a Special Assistant Attorney General in her public integrity unit and he served as a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority. When he ran in 2016 against Duckworth, who had the support of many in the Democratic leadership, Krishnamoorthi lost by a 66.6% to 33.4% margin.

Co-founder of InSPIRE, a nonprofit providing training to Illinois students and veterans in solar technology, he is a former vice chair of the Illinois Innovation Council, a group supporting economic growth and job creation in Illinois.

“We need people in Congress who understand the opportunities provided by the new economy and how to make sure more Americans are prepared to seize them,” the Indian American candidate said in a press release. “That requires practical, pragmatic ideas and far less partisanship and politics. I want to help provide this leadership and ensure that the same opportunities that my family had to escape tough economic times exist for other working families today and into the future,” he said.

“I am excited to have the support of the hardworking men and women of the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 881,” Raja said. “UFCW, Local 881 represents more than 34,000 members employed in retail food, drug stores and grocery stores. Winning another labor union endorsement shows that my campaign’s message of helping more Americans find good jobs and help grow and strengthen the middle class is resonating with voters throughout the northwest Chicago suburbs.”

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