Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ashwin Madia Spars in Debate with MN 3rd Candidates

One of the season's big buzzes in House races has been the "improbable rise" and growing momentum of Ashwin Madia, an Indian American attorney and Iraq veteran seeking to replace retiring Republican Rep. Jim Ramstad in MN's 3rd District. It is widely viewed as an at-risk seat for the GOP, and Madia -- himself a former Republican who switched parties over the Bush Iraq policy -- has garnered support from a number of national networks among Asian Americans and progressive circles, and a good deal of attention from the national party.

In this week's debate reported on by MN Public Radio, Madia squared off against Republican Erik Paulsen, and Independence Party candidate David Dillon over taxes and foreign policy, and Madia's Iraq experience lent weight to his arguments on topics such as how to deal with Iran and the U.S. relationship with Israel.

He spoke frankly and at length in an interview for Rediff News this month about his background, family, the war, his policy views and the reception by Indian Americans to his candidacy.

Win or lose, Madia's made a strong performance in the race, and is emerging as one of the young Asian American politcians to watch this year and beyond.

Learn more about him at the Ashwin Madia for Congress website.
Image: Ashwin Madia at the Democratic National Convention with former Cabinet Secretary Norman Mineta.