Indian American ‘JD’ Diganvker running for highway commissioner in Illinois township

Jitendra "JD' Diganvker
Jitendra “JD’ Diganvker

Diganvker, who ran for Congress in 2016, says he would fight Covid, lower taxes.

Indian American Republican Jitendra “JD” Diganvker is no stranger to politics and public service. A small business owner, he ran against Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-IL, from Illinois’ 8th congressional district in 2016.

Now Diganvker, known as “JD,” is taking another stab at electoral politics. This time he is running for the post of Highway Commissioner in the Maine Township, a suburb of Chicago.

The long time Illinois resident, who is running on a Republican slate, told the American Bazaar that the commissioner’s job would provide him with the right platform to address local issues. Diganvker said his candidacy is important as the Maine Township is home to many minority communities “who are entirely unrepresented.”

Born in India, Diganvker immigrated to the United States in 1999. A US citizen since 2003, he made Des Plaines and Maine Township his home. In 2003, he launched a small business, along with his wife. It employed five people and grew by 230 percent over the next seven years.

Diganvker is not the only Indian American Republican on ballot in the April 6 local elections. Smitesh Shah is running for the Maine Township clerk. The presence of two Indian Americans on GOP slate is a first, according to old-timers.

READ: If Democrats win, they would only focus on impeaching Trump: Jitendra Diganvker (October 30, 2018)

Early voting for the local elections begins on March 22.

Diganvker told the American Bazaar that, through his candidacy, he wants to send a message to all Indian Americans to concentrate on local offices. “More voices at a local level, bring in real issues to the center stage,” he said.

Speaking about the increasing Indian American presence in US politics, he said, “Americans are more welcoming to all candidates who come forward to represent them on a local level and they have high regard for Indian Americans.”

Diganvker said if he goes on to win, it will increase representation for the community. “This will also be our chance to represent our community in local government,” he said “The Maine Township Highway Commissioner focuses primarily on maintaining roads and bridges in the unincorporated areas of township. Unincorporated Maine Township is also home to many minority communities who are entirely unrepresented on the Maine Township Board. As a resident of unincorporated Maine Township and a member of its ethnic community, I think I will be able to do just representation.”

READ: Jitendra Diganvker to run for Congress from 8th congressional district of Illinois (November 14, 2017)

Diganvker said he wants to keep roadways open and safe while also acting as a strong steward of hard-earned taxpayer funds.

“I plan to lower the tax over the next four years to reduce the excess accumulated by my predecessors through over-taxation,” he said. “I also plan to regularly meet with residents of various neighborhoods in the township to brainstorm about how to improve our government and make it more efficient and inclusive.”

Diganvker spoke about his priorities if he gets elected. “My first issue would be to make sure all our citizens receive their Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible,” he said. Secondly, we had a particularly bad winter this year so I will be on road to review our roads and bridges and do the needful.”

Lastly, he added, “With COVID-19 taking a toll on all aspects of life, every family is affected and has somehow lost a loved one. At this time, healing and safety is of paramount importance to me.”

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