Republican candidate announces bid to unseat Duckworth

Backers of an Aurora woman have announced her candidacy to seek the Republican nomination for the state’s 8th District congressional seat currently held by Democrat Tammy Duckworth.

Manju Goel is the first candidate named by a national group led by Texas congressman Pete Sessions trying to field 10 Indian-American GOP congressional candidates, organizers said.

Sessions will introduce Goel at a 9:30 a.m. campaign event Sunday at Busse Woods in Elk Grove Village.

Shalli Kumar, who co-chairs the Indian-American candidacy project with Sessions, said the district was targeted because of the large Indian-American population. Goel is a fiscal conservative who will work to create jobs for recent college graduates if elected to Congress, Kumar said.

Duckworth’s campaign did not respond to calls.

Goel is a relative unknown in political circles. She has never personally contributed to a political campaign or formally sought office before, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

Goel’s campaign did not provide a biography of the candidate. Kumar said Goel is a mother of two college-age children who is in her mid-40s and works as a consultant in the health care industry. Kumar also acknowledged that while Goel has a residence in Aurora — outside the boundaries of the 8th District — Goel also owns a residence in Glendale Heights, which is part of the congressional district she is hoping to represent.

A person who answered Goel’s home phone Thursday evening said the candidate was not taking calls about the race. Her first formal remarks are scheduled for Sunday.

For tickets or more information about the event, contact Alka Tyle at

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