Schaumburg resident and business owner Jitendra "JD" Diganvker announced his bid Monday for the Republican nomination in next year's 8th Congressional District race, with the aim of ultimately unseating Democratic incumbent Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg.
Diganvker said he has not previously held elected office but has been a volunteer at the grass-roots level and is concerned seeing many hardworking Americans losing their dreams.
"I am a proud citizen, a proud American, and I believe in people," Diganvker said. "I volunteer for many causes. People are suffering. The state is failing."
He said he is seeking federal office rather than state office because he believes the same struggle he sees in Illinois is going on across the nation.
Diganvker said he's previously worked for and owned car rental businesses, but now owns a credit card processing company.
"I'm an entrepreneur, not a politician," Diganvker said. "Who's going to represent the common voice?"
Diganvker is an immigrant who said his family has experienced many highs and lows since coming to the U.S. He, his wife and their son live in Schaumburg, but he lost his two daughters in a house fire while living in Chicago in 1999.
He said he's not yet heard of any other candidate's interest in the Republican primary.
"I have no idea right now, but I'm here to stay and I'm here to win the primary," Diganvker said.
Diganvker did not mention Krishnamoorthi by name in the announcement of his candidacy. But in a written statement, he said, "Today, career politicians have left behind hardworking middle-class Americans. I will be a voice for those very people who have been left behind because my family is one of them. I have seen firsthand how burdensome government regulations and rising health care costs can discourage the entrepreneurial spirit."
In an emailed statement, Krishnamoorthi said he has spent his first 10 months in office "working every day to fight on behalf of the hard-working men and women of the west and northwest Chicago suburbs I have the honor to represent."
"My mission in Congress has been to grow and strengthen the middle class, and I am proud that my first major piece of legislation to pass the House of Representatives focuses on finding ways through career and technical education to give workers the skills and opportunities needed to succeed in our economy," he said. "I look forward to putting my credentials forward next year to the voters of the 8th District and seeking re-election to Congress."
The 8th District is roughly centered in Schaumburg and includes parts of northwest Cook, northeast DuPage and northeast Kane counties.