Son of Tamil immigrants is second time lucky.
Attorney-turned-businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi has become only the fourth Indian American to be elected to the US House of Representatives: the Democrat Krishnamoorthi defeated Republican Peter DiCianni in Illinoisâ€™ 8th District, to join Dilip Singh Saund, Bobby Jindal and Ami Bera to the US Congress.
Krishnamoorthi led DiCianni 60 percent to 40 percent with 80 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press, a lead which is mathematically impossibly to be overcome.
Krishnamoorthi, who vied unsuccessfully for the seat the last time around, but lost in the primaries, got the chance with two-term Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth vacating the seat for a successful Senate run against incumbent Republican Sen. Mark S. Kirk.
Illinoisâ€™s 8th District includes the northern suburbs of Chicago, covering portions of Kane, DuPage and Cook counties.
Duckworth had no trouble winning re-election in 2014 in the Democratic-trending district. Coming into Election Day, the race was rated Safe Democrat by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.
Krishnamoorthi, who lost to Duckworth in the 2012 Democratic primary for this seat, won the March 15 Democratic primary this year, with 57 percent of the vote against two other candidates. He succeeds fellow Asian-American Duckworth in the district which has the stateâ€™s highest proportion of Asian residents (13 percent).
A staunch supporter of working families, Krishnamoorthi, in his campaign, hammered home the point the middle class upon which the democracy depends on, is shrinking.
The son of Tamil immigrants ran for Congress with a progressive mission statement that includes protecting Social Security and Medicare, passing common-sense gun laws, and addressing threat of climate change.
Born in New Delhi, India, Krishnamoorthiâ€™s family moved to Buffalo, New York, when he was just three months old. After moving to Illinois, Krishnamoorthi attended public schools there. He earned a bachelorâ€™s degree in mechanical engineering from Princeton University and received a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.
He served as a clerk for a federal judge in Chicago before serving as issues director for Barack Obamaâ€™s successful 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate. He was appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to serve as a Special Assistant Attorney General in her newly formed Public Integrity Unit to root out corruption. He subsequently served as Illinois Deputy Treasurer and as Vice-Chair of the Illinois Innovation Council.
He currently serves as the president of Chicago-based Sivananthan Labs and Episolar, Inc., which develop products for the national security and renewable energy industries, respectively. He also co-founded InSPIRE, a charity dedicated to providing solar technology training to inner-city students and veterans.
Krishnamoorthy entered politics in 2010 when he ran for the Democratic Party nomination for Illinois Comptroller. But, he lost the primary election to David E. Miller by less than 1% of the vote. In 2012, he lost a congressional primary bid to Duckworth.
Krishnamoorthi was on solid ground in this election, as he had received endorsements from President Obama, former Obama aide David Axelrod and the senior U.S. senator from Illinois Dick Durbin.
Krishnamoorthi lives in Schaumburg, Illinois with his wife, Priya, a physician who practices at a local hospital, and their three children â€”Â two sons Vijay, 10; Vikram, 6; and a baby girl.