Villivalam Senate

Ram Villivalam is running for a state Senate seat in Illinois' 8th Legislative District. The Indian American candidate says his campaign will focus on creating tax fairness, safe communities, education and a minimum wage. (Twitter photo)

Another Indian American is thrusting himself into a political race.

Ram Villivalam is vying for a spot in Illinois' 8th Legislative District, seeking a state Senate post.

Villivalam, who lives in Chicago, Ill., where he was born, graduated from Lincoln Park High School in 2005 and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in political science and government from The George Washington University in 2009.

Villivalam, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from India in the 1970s, working as public servants for 25 years, said he will never forget their struggle.

"It has and will continue to guide his path to public service and representing working families," his campaign page said.

Villivalam is a proud board member of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC and the Indo American Democratic Organization, his campaign noted.

He believes Illinois needs a new generation of diverse leaders who are progressive and effective; legislators who lead on the issues, and who listen to and truly represent their communities, it added.

The Indian American has a plethora of issues he intends to tackle throughout his campaign and in office, if elected.

He boasts that he'll work on creating tax fairness, safe communities, education and minimum wage. Additionally, he intends to work on healthcare, the environment, LGBTQ rights, women's rights, college affordability and immigration.

Villivalam’s career experience includes working as a consultant with SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana, where he has served since February 2015.

He also served as program director of Experience DC and followed that by working in the Brad Schneider for Congress 2012 campaign in Illinois, serving as deputy campaign manager and field director, then political director. Prior to working at SEIU, Villivalam was director of outreach for the U.S. House of Representatives in Illinois.

Running as a Democrat, Villivalam is in a crowded field that includes incumbent Ira Silverstein. Other candidates within the Democratic Party include Caroline McAteer-Fournier, Zehra Quadri and David Zulkey. At time of press, there were no Republican candidates.

If elected, Villivalam would become the first Asian American state senator and the first South Asian American member of the Illinois General Assembly.

Villivalam has a strong group of people and organizations that have backed his campaign.

Among those who have endorsed the candidate include U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi; former gubernatorial candidate and Ald. Ameya Pawar; Congressmembers Jan Schakowsky, Brad Schneider, Mike Quigley and Danny K. Davis; the Indo-American Democratic Organization; National Nurses United; the Illinois AFL-CIO, and Local UFCW 881, among many others.

The primary election for Illinois is set for March 20, with the winners advancing to the Nov. 6 general election.

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