Oak Brook man to challenge Krishnamoorthi in 8th District Democratic primary

Junaid Ahmed of Oak Brook intends to challenge three-term U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg in the June 2022 Democratic primary for the 8th District seat.

Ahmed, 45, identifies his top issue as passing Medicare for All, with free college education a close second.

"To me, they're equally important, but people need to be healthy first," Ahmed said.

His decision to run for office stems from frustration over a lack of progress on those causes and what he sees as Krishnamoorthi's lack of commitment to them, he said.

Democratic primary voters chose Krishnamoorthi over three other candidates who championed public health care in March 2020, but Ahmed said the pandemic has since demonstrated that a stronger governmental role in people's physical well-being is possible. The attention and funding given to COVID-19 can also be spent to address high blood pressure and diabetes, he argues.

Having visited dozens of other countries, Ahmed said he found the U.S. to be the developed nation that doesn't provide a guarantee of basic health care to its citizens. He believes America will fall behind in the world without it.

"The push has to be from each and every representative." Ahmed said.

He also supports what he calls a more humane immigration policy and criticized Krishnamoorthi for being overly focused on campaign fundraising.

With the recently rescheduled primary still a year off, Krishnamoorthi said in a written statement the campaign season hasn't yet begun.

"This Congress has a tremendous amount of critical work to do, from ending the pandemic and repairing its economic damage to rebuilding our nation's infrastructure and protecting our democracy from violent, right-wing extremists and efforts to undermine our elections," Krishnamoorthi, 47, said. "That work is my primary focus right now."

Ahmed said he was born in India, was educated in the United States and has had a technology-oriented business career. While his home in Oak Brook is currently outside the 8th District, he said he plans to move into the district if the redrawing of boundaries doesn't put him there. Residency within a district is not required to represent it.

Ahmed said his ties to the 8th District are strong from two decades spent in it, as well as having four siblings that live there.

He opened a campaign office in Schaumburg last weekend and has a campaign committee filed with the Federal Election Commission. As of March 31, the committee had reported total receipts of $215,910, total disbursements of $3,032 and ABOUT $212,877 cash on hand.

Krishnamoorthi's campaign committee during the same filing period reported total receipts of $1,248,131, total disbursements of $265,622 and cash on hand in the amount of $9,410,356.

Under its current borders, the 8th District is roughly centered in Schaumburg and includes areas of northwest Cook, northeast DuPage and northeast Kane counties.

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