WASHINGTON (TIP): Two Indian American hopefuls for Congress have received key endorsements, strengthening their position. Kumar Barve, who has served for 24 years in the Maryland General Assembly and as majority leader from 2003 until early 2015, is running to claim Maryland’s 8th Congressional district seat. He was endorsed by the UNITE HERE International Union in the race to fill Chris Van Hollen’s seat.


Indian American politicians Kumar Barve, Democrat from Maryland (RIGHT) and Raja Krishnamoorthi, another Democrat (LEFT) have received key endorsements in their quest to earn a seat in Congress.

“Our union is made up of a majority of immigrants, women and people of color,” Roxie Herbekian, international vice president of UNITE  HERE International Union and president of UNITE HERE Local 7, said in a statement. “As the first Indian American elected to a state legislature in American history, Kumar Barve is an inspiration to our members.”

In Illinois, Raja Krishnamoorthi is looking to take over the seat being vacated by Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat, who is running for Senate in 2016. Chicago-area newspaper the Daily Herald’s support added weight to Krishnamoorthy’s candidature.

On Feb. 23, the Chicago Sun-Times also endorsed Krishnamoorthi. “Our endorsement goes to Krishnamoorthi,” wrote the editorial board of the Chicago Sun-Times. “We’re impressed by Krishnamoorthy’s  highly specific legislative agenda. He wants to raise the minimum wage, guarantee access to paid maternity and sick leave for all workers and provide overtime protections to workers earning less than$50,000.”

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Additionally, Krishnamoorthi received an endorsement from the Sierra Club. Illinois Sierra Club political chair Barbara Hill said, “Raja is the best-qualified, most reliable candidate to protect the environment and advance renewable energy technology in Congress.”

In a recent GBA Strategies poll, taken Feb. 9 through Feb. 11, 400 likely Democratic voters in the 8th Congressional district sided with Krishnamoorthi. Roughly 41 percent said it would vote for the Indian American if the election were held today, outpacing his opponents by 14 percent.

A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Krishnamoorthi, the son of Indian immigrants, previously was policy director for Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign.

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