New York: Raja Krishnamoorthi won a seat in the House of Representatives from Ilinois on Tuesday, becoming the fourth Indian American elected to Congress.
Democrat Krishnamoorthi was elected from the Illinois Eighth Congressional District that covers some of the suburbs around Chicago.
He defeated Republican Peter DiCianni in the traditionally Democratic constituency.
The 43-year-old Krishnamoorthi represents the class of upcoming young political leaders. At the Democratic Party Convention in July, the party leadership presented him as a “New Leader of Tomorrow”.
President Barack Obama gave him a strong endorsement and recorded a video urging voters to elect his “good friend”, who helped him “develop ideas for building an economy that works for everyone”.
Krishnamoorthi follows Dalip Singh Saund, who became in 1956 the first Indian American elected to Congress, Bobby Jindal elected in 2004 and Ami Bera in 2014.
Born in New Delhi, he is a lawyer by profession and has served as a state assistant attorney general on a special assignment to fight corruption and as a state deputy treasurer.
He has since become a technology entrepreneur heading two companies.
Krishnamoorthi has a mechanical engineering degree from Princeton University and a law degree from Harvard.
In an interview with IANS at the party convention, he joked that he probably had a “mutant gene” that made him turn to politics in a community that focuses on careers in medicine, technology and education.
He said his family was in “dire economic straits” and had a difficult time when he was a baby, but the “generosity” of the US helped them come out of it.
“Ever since then, I have been wanting to make sure that others have a shot at the American dream” like his family, he said.
His father is a professor of engineering at Bradley University in Peoria.
Krishnamoorthi is married to a doctor, Priya, and they have two sons and a daughter.
(Arul Louis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)A
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