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Ashwin Madia is running for the United States Congress in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district

Republican TV Ad intentionally darkens the skin tone of NRI Democrat candidate


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.


Democrat Ashwin Madia, a 30-year-old political neophyte challenging a respected Republican statehouse leader for an open seat held by the GOP since 1960.