Illinois Faces Electoral Battle Between Two Indian Origin Persons

Democrat candidate and incumbant Raja Krishnamoorthi is running against Jitendra Diganvker, a Republican candidate.


In the elections of the 8th congressional district of Illinois, India is playing a special role. In this district, both the major candidates, who are running for the U.S. House of Representatives, have their roots in India.

According to a report in the Hindu, Democrat candidate and incumbent Raja Krishnamoorthi is running against Jitendra Diganvker, a Republican candidate.

Krishnamoorthi is a Harvard educated lawyer and a businessman while Diganvker is a businessman and Uber driver. Krishnamoorthy came to the U.S. from India when he was three years old. Diganvker came here 15 years ago and became naturalized U.S. citizen.

Both share a similarity in terms of their country of origin but their approach toward their policies make them stand different from each other. However, these approaches are not entirely like the traditional Democrats or Republicans but have a somewhat centrist approach, says the report.

For instance, on the issue of gun control, Republican candidate Diganvker takes a more centrist approach than an average stand of Republicans. He calls for criminal background checking and favors the ban on the assault weapons with few exceptions. He is also in favor of increasing the cap on professional visas like H-1B and L-1 visa while the Trump administration itself is taking tough measures to curb H-1B visas, most sought visas among Indian professionals, says the report.

Diganvker told the Hindu that he is against this policy of Trump administration and wants an increase of two years in post-degree temporary work permit.

“Their families spend a lot of money sending their kids and they don’t have enough time to find the right job, the right opportunity, so one year OPT [Optional Practical Training] is not good enough,” he told the publication.

Both the candidates say that if they get elected, they will put efforts to make India-U.S. relations strong.

If Krishnamoorthy wins, it will be his second win in House of Representatives. On his report card, 13 bills, sponsored or co-sponsored by him, are mentioned which have now converted into law.

The newspaper says that he has also introduced the ‘Immigration Innovation Act of 2018’ with Colorado Republican Mike Coffman. This bill pitches for greater flexibility in job change for H-1B visa holders and protects their partners’ rights to work. It also seeks to prevent companies from hiring foreign workers to replace American workers.

Nov.6 will be deciding the electoral fate of these candidates but one result is certain. No matter who wins, IL-8 is going to be represented by a person of Indian origin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *