Minnesota, Nov. 02, 2008
Dr. Rajinder Singh
NRI Ashwin Madia, 30, an Iraq war veteran, who is contesting
as a Democrat the Nov 4 polls to the US House of Representatives,
has turned a combination of economic worry and demographic change
into a serious chance of beating state Rep. Erik Paulsen. Recent
polling shows Madia slightly ahead.
Democratic party officials are alleging that a Republican television
ad intentionally darkens the skin tone of Indian-American Democratic
candidate Ashwin Madia in a closely contested Minnesota congressional
race. The ad was produced by the National Republican Congressional
Committee in support of Republican candidate Erik Paulsen.
Erik Paulsen is the Republican candidate in the 2008 congressional
elections for the 3rd Congressional District of Minnesota. He
is the Republican nominee seeking to replace retiring Rep. Jim
Ramstad (R-MN). He ran unopposed in primary elections which took
place on September 9, 2008. Erik Paulsen's 16 years of business
experience has taught him the importance of good management, good
planning, good decision-making, and the value of customer service.
He currently works as a business analyst for one of Minnesota's
top employers, Target Corporation. In 1994, Erik was elected to
the Minnesota House of Representatives, serving Edina and Eden
Prairie, whom he continues to serve as his constituency.
Ashwin Madia's parents moved to America from Mumbai, India. He
was born in Boston and his family eventually settled in Plymouth,
Minnesota. Madia took his parents' lessons to heart and worked
hard to graduate from Osseo Senior High School, the University
of Minnesota, and New York University Law School.
He served as student body president at the University of Minnesota.
He worked with fellow students, administrators, and faculty to
keep higher education accessible to all by helping to make college
tuition more affordable.
After law school, Madia joined the U.S. Marine Corps and moved
to Quantico, Virginia for six months of basic training. His first
duty station was Okinawa, Japan, where he served as a prosecutor,
defense counsel, and legal advisor to a Marine Corps commander.
Madia was lead attorney in over one hundred trials, including
thirteen jury trials.
He served in Iraq, stationed primarily in Baghdad in 2005 and
2006. He worked with U.S. military and civilian officials, European
Union and United Nations representatives, and Iraqi judicial officers
on the Integrated Rule-of-Law Mission. He also briefed top U.S.
generals on the status of rule of law efforts in the country.
Madia finished active duty with the Marine Corps on July 4, 2006.
He returned to Minnesota and began practicing law at Robins, Kaplan,
Miller & Ciresi, LLP, a respected law firm in Minneapolis.
He now hopes to draw on his record of leadership, service, and
advocacy to represent the western suburbs in the U.S. Congress.