PHILADELPHIA: Indian-American Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democratic Congressional candidate from Illinois, will be today introduced as one of the party’s emerging leaders during the ongoing Democratic National Convention.
Mr Krishnamoorthi, 42, is among only two Congressional candidates to have been invited on to the DNC stage here as the party’s rising star or emerging leader.
Stephanie Murphy from Florida is the other Congressional candidate to be recognised by the Democratic party in this category.
Having won the Democratic Party’s Congressional primary in Illinois on March 16, Mr Krishnamoorthi faces Peter DiCianni of the Republican party who ran unopposed during the primary. He has raised a whopping USD 1.6 million more than his opponents and is considered to be a heavy favourite.
If elected, he would join Ami Bera in the US House of Representatives in the next Congress beginning January 2017. Bera, meanwhile, is seeking his third-term in the November general elections.
Mr Krishnamoorthi has the distinction of being endorsed by US President Barack Obama.
“I know he’ll fight hard in Congress to create more good jobs, empower more Americans to start businesses, and help working families afford to put their children through college,” Obama said in his endorsement last month.
He has also been endorsed by other top Democratic leaders including Nancy Pelosi, the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
Mr Krishnamoorthi previously was the policy director and a senior advisor for Barack Obama’s 2004 US Senate campaign, and also served as an advisor to Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign.
He served as Deputy Treasurer of Illinois from 2007-2009 under Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, and in 2010 ran for the Democratic nomination for Illinois State Comptroller, losing to David E Miller by less than one percent of the vote.
Born in New Delhi on July 19, 1973, his parents immigrated to Buffalo New York when he was three months old. Krishnamurthy currently serves as president of Sivananthan Labs and Episolar Inc, small businesses that develop and sell products in the national security and renewable energy industries.
He is a co-founder of InSPIRE, a non-profit organisation that provides training to Illinois students and veterans in solar technology, and was formerly Vice-Chairman of the Illinois Innovation Council, whose mission is to promote innovative technologies that support economic growth and job creation in Illinois.
The eighth Congressional district has a strong presence of Asian-Americans with a sizable population of Indian-Americans.