Indian American hotelier Abhijit “Beej” Das is hoping his outsider perspective with regard to politics can help him in his quest to win the seat in Massachusetts’ 3rd Congressional District in 2018.
The Democrat is among eight individuals from his party, as well as two Republicans, who hope to be victorious next November for the seat being vacated by Lowell-based Democratic incumbent Niki Tsongas, who is retiring after the current term.
Das had announced his candidacy for Congress Sept. 25 and filed his papers Oct. 2 (see India-West article here).
“Our state of the economy is troubling. Something is not working and we need to fix that. We must work diligently to turn this place to one of opportunity and innovation,” Das said at the time in his announcement.
His platform, he said, will focus on the economy, innovation, education and the mental health crisis, among other issues.
The 44-year old Das was born in Woburn, and grew up in North Andover. He went to Brooks School, studied political science at Middlebury College in Vermont, and took two semesters of classes at UMass Lowell, where his mother Mitra Das is in her 45th year teaching sociology, the Eagle-Tribune reported.
Das obtained a law degree from the University of Michigan, and said he spent almost a decade as a lawyer before becoming Hilton hotels' senior director of Development in South Asia. He left that position having signed or launched 28 hotels in South Asia over a five-year period, it said.
His most recent endeavor is his own hotel company, Troca Hotels, which he said focuses on community-based revitalization and rehabilitating old hotels, like Stonehedge Hotel & Spa in Tyngsboro, the location in which he made his campaign announcement, the publication said.
"This region was born on manufacturing ... we were really key in the industrial revolution. That has changed," he said in the report. "The question is, where ‘will our jobs come from?’ I think to focus on economic development for the entire region is so critical. I'm a business friendly, small-business Democrat. I believe regulations on small businesses are onerous."
Throughout his campaign, Das said he wants to spend time in every municipality, listening to constituents, and even set up a hotline where people can call in and voice concerns, according to the Eagle-Tribune.
"If at the end of the day, even if all that fails, if we do a couple good things for people in the district, I'll feel it's been worth it," he said in the report. "And if we win, we can continue doing the work we started."