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Democratic Indian-American Raja Krishnamoorthi Wins 8th Congressional District of Illinois

Krishnamoorthi served as deputy treasurer of Illinois in 2007 after he was appointed special assistant attorney general in Public Integrity Unit by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

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by Himani Kumar 

Chicago, November 8, 2016:  It was finally a victory for Raja Krishnamoorthi as he won the 8th Congressional District of Illinois on election night yesterday and became a Congressman.

With this, he became the second Indian American to join the U.S. Congress after Amy Bera from California. It  was indeed a  victory for people belonging to the middle-class section in the society.

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His journey started in 2010. On Tuesday night, Krishnamoorthi has beaten republican candidate Pete DiCianni to win the 8th congressional district seat,  that  was occupied by Tammy Duckworth to whom Raja lost in 2012 in the Democratic Primary for the 8th district house seat.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift.. a present,’’ Krishnamoorthi said, quoting cartoonist Bil Keane at the Wyndham Garden in Schaumburg, where the victory party was celebrated before the race was called.

“I’ll work for the middle class, small businesses, and increase employment,” Raja added resonating with the people, as he was a small business owner himself and told that he knew their problems.

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Krishnamoorthi thanked his family, his friends and campaign manager Noah Wasserman after winning the seat. “You can call me Raja…not Congressman Raja…, he added,” trying to strike a chord with the common man. “I’ll work for the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains and others,” he added.

“It is a coming out of the South Asian community tonight,” he said as his family members gather on stage and flouted the Cubs’ “Fly The W” flag  commemorating the recent win by the Cubs baseball team.

Several prominent members of the Indian and American community were present at the event.

“Raja’s coming to power is good for employment and for our community,” Hema Shastri of Bensenville said.

Her father-in-law Dr C. L. Shastri was instrumental in building the Manav Seva temple in Bensenville in Illinois, one of the oldest temples built in the United States.

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“American Indians need at least five Congressmen in the White House and we just have one Congressman Amy Bera from California, compared to our population of 1 percent in America,” Raja’s wife Priya, an anesthesiologist said.

Anuja  Gupta helped with building the  first retirement community for Indian people in Schaumburg called “Verandah” that was inaugurated on October 1, this year. “There are enough older Indians in Chicagoland,” she said. “It’s exciting for Raja to win,” Gupta said. “ I hosted a fundraiser in my house and raised $14,000 for his campaign.”

Krishnamoorthi served as deputy treasurer of Illinois in 2007 after he was appointed special assistant attorney general in Public Integrity Unit by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

A Harvard law school  graduate, he was once also a partner at law firm Kirkland and Ellis.

Krishnamoorthi currently also is the  president of Bolingbrook’s Sivananthan Laboratories. The company focuses on research, development and commercialization of military night vision technology, solar cells, radiation detectors and biosensors to detect weapons of mass destruction.

Krishnamoorthi joins Kamala Harris from California, Ro Khanna from California’s 17th District and Pramila Jayapal from Seattle among the Indian Americans entering U.S. Congress. There is still no call in the race between Amy Bera from California and Scott Jones.

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Gurbir S Grewal nominated to be the next attorney general of New Jersey, US

Gurbir S Grewal has been nominated to be the next attorney general of US and would be the first Sikh to assume the top state law enforcement position in United States

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Gurbir S Grewal nominated to be the next attorney general of US.
Gurbir S Grewal nominated to be the next attorney general of US. Facebook
  • Gurbir S Grewal is nominated to be the next attorney general of New Jersey, US
  • He would be the first Sikh to assume the top state law enforcement position

In a historic first, a distinguished Sikh public prosecutor “who has experienced hate and intolerance first-hand” has been nominated to be the next attorney general of the US state of New Jersey.

If Gurbir S. Grewal’s nomination by Democrat Governor-elect Phil Murphy is approved by the State Senate early next year, he will be the first Sikh to assume the top state law enforcement position in the United States and the second Indian-American, after Kamala Harris, who held the position in California before her election to the US Senate.

Announcing the nomination in the state capital, Trenton, on Tuesday, Murphy said: “In light of all that is being thrown at us by the president, we need an attorney general unafraid to join our fellow states in using the law to protect all New Jersey residents.”

Grewal, 44, is the prosecutor of Bergen County, an important district across the river from New York city. He was appointed to by the current Republican Governor Chris Christie and that is likely to mute any opposition the senate.

Symbolic of the public acceptance of minorities despite scattered incidents of bigotry, two Sikhs were elected mayors last month, Ravi Bhalla in Hoboken, New Jersey, and Preet Didbal in Yuba City, California.

Vin Gopal, who became the first Indian-American to be elected to the New Jersey State Senate last month, said that Grewal is someone “not only eminently qualified, but who will bring a perspective to the office that is diverse and long-overdue.”

After Murphy made the announcement, Grewal said: “I wanted to give back to a country that has given us and other immigrant families like us so much.”

Turning to his three daughters, Kyrpa, Mayher and Mahek, who were with him, he said: “As someone who has experienced hate and intolerance first-hand throughout my life, I wanted to work to ensure we all live in and that the three of you grow up in a fair and just society.”

Grewal added: “I wanted to perhaps also show people that while I and others like me may look different or worship differently, that we, too, are committed to this country.”

Hailing Grewal’s nomination, Rajwant Singh, the co-founder of the National Sikh Campaign, said: “These are exactly the kind of role models our youngsters need to feel proud of being a Sikh and an American.”

“While America could be seen having a very polarized situation politically and yet there are some very shining moments to show that people of all backgrounds can aspire for top positions,” he added.

South Asian Bar Association President Rishi Bagga, said: “The decision to appoint a visible minority as the chief law enforcement officer for New Jersey reflects the diversity of the state and of the US, and is especially important in a time where minorities and immigrants have often felt targeted by law enforcement.”

Attorney General is a very powerful position New Jersey heading the Department of Law and Public Safety, which includes the state police.

Grewal has earlier served as an assistant federal prosecutor in New York and in New Jersey, where he was also the chief of the Economic Crimes Unit.

In the administration of former President Barack Obama, Indian Americans have held senior law positions. Neal Kumar Katyal was an Acting Solicitor General.

Sri Srinivasan, now a federal appeals court judge in Washington, did a stint as the Principal Deputy Solicitor General.

Vanita Gupta was the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and headed the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

US President Donald Trump has appointed Uttam Dhillon to be his special assistant and associate counsel. (IANS)