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Krishnamoorthi set to run in proposed 8th congressional district


Raja Krishnamoorthi

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Updated: September 15, 2011 12:28AM

Former Deputy Illinois Treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi will run in the proposed 8th congressional district that connects Democratic voters in Elgin and Carpentersville with pockets in Lombard, Bensenville and Wheeling.

With a higher-than-average 12 to 13 percent concentration of Asian-American and particularly Indian voters, the new district is the Democrats’ attempt to create a suburban pick-up someone with a name like Krishnamoorthi could win.

Gov. Pat Quinn has not yet signed the bill creating the new Democrat-drawn districts. Obama carried the new district with 62 percent of the vote.

Though it is called the 8th District, there is little overlap with the current 8th District now represented by Republican Joe Walsh of McHenry and formerly by Melissa Bean.

No incumbent congressman lives in the district.

Department of Veterans Affairs official Tammy Duckworth ran for Congress in 2006 from a seat that included part of this district and she could run again.

But Krishnamoorthi, 37, who narrowly lost the Democratic primary election for state comptroller last year, has been busy locking up endorsements from the lion’s share of local Democrats.

Five of the six Cook County Democratic committeemen in the district are on board. The DuPage County Democratic township leaders and the Democratic chairs of DuPage and Kane County have endorsed him. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is a supporter.

Krishnamoorthi had a secret weapon in his arsenal last time — a photo of a younger Barack Obama enjoying Indian food in Krishnamoorthi’s parents’ dining room.

Krishnamoorthi was an early supporter of Obama, serving as issues director for his 2004 Senate campaign and as an adviser to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Krishnamoorthi is president of a high-tech company, Sivananthan Laboratories, that makes night-vision goggles and solar cells.

Republicans have named no candidates yet.

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