– 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.