We thought it was unfortunate when Raja Krishnamoorthi ran for Congress in the 8th District in 2012 against Tammy Duckworth. There was no way he could win. In the Democratic primary, he was up against a war hero who had her party’s strong support.

But Krishnamoorthi, Princeton- and Harvard-trained, was whip smart. And he demonstrated a real passion for the underdog, apparently having never forgotten how, when he was a child, his family lived on food stamps. And he approached the challenges of public policy in creative ways.

Now Krishnamoorthi is running for Congress from this northwest suburban district again — as Duckworth tries to move up to the Senate — and we offer our endorsement. Illinois’ congressional delegation is not an especially strong team. Few representatives from our state are stand-out political leaders or thought leaders in Washington. Krishnamoorthi has the potential to break that mold of mediocrity.

Krishnamoorthi would prioritize shoring up Social Security and Medicare; raising the minimum wage nationally; guaranteeing maternity leave and sick leave, and ensuring equal pay for equal work. He wants to create a federal infrastructure bank to help complete the stalled construction of the Elgin-O’Hare Expy. and Metra’s dormant 55-mile STAR Line, which would connect nearly 100 suburbs. He also would like to assure taxpayers are not overcharged for medicines after taxpayers have the funded research that is at the core of pharmaceutical products.


Krishnamoorthi, whose family when he was growing up also once lived in public housing, would push to make college more affordable; allow families to be able to renegotiate the interest on student loans; expand Pell grants; simplify the financial aid process, and create a 401K-style program in which businesses could help students pay off their loans.

As president of two suburban businesses that sell chips for infrared night vision military equipment and solar energy technology, Krishnamoorthi is a strong advocate for small businesses, which he says suffer as corporate behemoths secure special deals in Washington that put their smaller rivals at a disadvantage. He has been a special Illinois assistant attorney general, a deputy Illinois treasurer and a member of the Illinois Housing Department Authority board. He also was policy director for Barack Obama when Obama ran for the U.S. Senate.

Pete DiCianni, 8th Congressional District Candidate. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Pete DiCianni, 8th Congressional District Candidate. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Krishnamoorthi is opposed by Republican Pete DiCianni, a small businessman, two-term DuPage County Board member and former Elmhurst mayor. DiCianni has done admirable work as a longtime advocate for families who have children with autism. But he would block Syrian refugees from coming to the United States and does not support the deal to reduce Iran’s nuclear facilities. He also supports the Republican decision not to vote on President Barack Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.