|Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee for
U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota, 3rd District
|Born||Jigar Ashwin Madia
March 3, 1978
|Political party||Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party|
|Alma mater||University of Minnesota,
New York University School of Law
Jigar Ashwin Madia, known as Ashwin Madia (born March 3, 1978), is an American attorney and Iraq War veteran who ran for the United States Congress in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district in 2008. He won the endorsement of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL) against other candidates including State Senator Terri Bonoff (DFL); the only announced candidate for the Republican nomination was Erik Paulsen.
His candidacy was announced after the incumbent, Jim Ramstad (Republican), announced his retirement in 2007, which gave an opportunity for both major parties to field potential candidates. The district was ranked as one of the top ten most likely to switch parties in 2008. However, after a challenging campaign, Madia received 40.9% of the vote and the district remained in the Republican column.
Ashwin Madia's parents moved to America from Mumbai, India. Madia's family settled in Plymouth, Minnesota, where he went to Osseo Senior High School. He attended the University of Minnesota, where he became student body president (with the help of the University's College Republicans.) He then attended New York University School of Law. Madia provided pro bono representation to battered women, disabled children, and immigrants seeking asylum.
Madia then joined the United States Marine Corps and completed the Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. 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 one of the first attorneys to successfully defend a fellow Marine from treatment under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
Madia later served in Iraq from September 2005 to March 2006. While there, he worked in a non-combat role working with Iraq's criminal justice system. This job included working with Iraqi judicial officers, U.S. military and civilian officials, and representatives of the European Union and United Nations, as well as briefing top U.S. generals on the status of the rule of law in the country. In July 2006, Madia finished active duty and returned to Minnesota, where he began to work at a local law firm.
In 1996, Madia was a supporter of Republican Senator Bob Dole in his bid for the White House against president Bill Clinton. In the 2000 presidential race, Madia volunteered for Senator John McCain. Madia was a moderate Republican until 2002, when his positions on social issues and Iraq led him to the Democratic Party. In 2006, Madia volunteered on the DFL campaigns of Grace Baltich, Andy Borene, Senator Satveer Chaudhary, and Wendy Wilde.
Madia was living in the Minnesota's 5th congressional district (Minneapolis, Minnesota), at the time the 3rd Congressional District seat became available. After he announced his run for the 3rd Congressional District seat, he moved back to Plymouth.
Madia has served on the board of directors for the Indian American Leadership Initiative. Since 2011, he has served as interim chairman for the veteran advocacy organization VoteVets.org.
In 2013, Madia served as Treasurer of Cam Winton for Mayor.
Madia was endorsed by VoteVets.org. He was also endorsed by the Teamsters Local 120 and the United Auto Workers Minnesota State CAP Council. Because of his progressive views on LGBT issues, Madia also received the endorsement of Minnesota StonewallDFL  LGBT group and eQualityGiving.
According to Madia's website, he hoped to "draw on his record of leadership, service, and advocacy to represent the 3rd District in the U.S. Congress. Madia ran on positions such as ending the war in Iraq responsibly, balancing the budget, addressing global warming, expanding access to health care, renewing the federal commitment to education, and safeguarding constitutional liberties". He also said that he will abide by the endorsement of Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
Ashwin Madia earned a majority of delegates at the senate district conventions that took place across the 3rd District on March 1, March 8, and March 15. At the 3rd District DFL endorsing convention, which took place on April 12, 2008, Madia and his final opponent, State Senator Terri Bonoff, competed with indecisive results through eight ballots. Following the eighth ballot, Bonoff dropped out.
In the November 2008 election, Madia was defeated, receiving 40.9% of the vote.
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- "June deadliest month for U.S. troops in 2 years". USA Today. June 30, 2011.
- Madia, Ashwin (November 14, 2011). "Romney Clueless on Veterans". Huffington Post.
- Millar, Lisa (March 3, 2011). "US court upholds rights of anti-gay protestors". The World Today. ABC.
- VoteVets.org | Candidates
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