WASHINGTON: Barack Obama has endorsed Aftab Pureval, an American of Indian-Tibetan descent, for the Congressional elections in November as the former US President released his first endorsement list of over 80 Democratic candidates.
Pureval, 35, who is seeking to enter the House of Representatives from the first Congressional District of Ohio, is the only American of Indian-Tibetan descent in the list of 81 candidates running for various positions in the November mid-term elections.
"I'm proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates, leaders as diverse, patriotic and big-hearted as the America they're running to represent," said Obama yesterday as he released his first list.
One fourth of them are running for the US Congress.
Pureval is seeking to unseat an 11-term incumbent Republican Congressman Steve Chabot, with local media reports describing it as a toss-up race.
Pureval, whose campaign has gained momentum in recent weeks, said he was "fired up and ready to go".
"President Obama inspired me to get involved in public service. It is surreal and incredible to have his endorsement," he said.
"As he told us, we are the ones who have been waiting for. Change starts with us. And in 100 days, we're going to make it happen here," said Pureval.
If elected, Pureval would be the first Tibetan-American to enter the US House of Representatives.
He was the first Democrat to get elected as the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts in more than 100 years.
Born and raised in Southwest Ohio, Pureval worked at a law firm and became a special assistant federal prosecutor where he worked with the FBI to prosecute crimes against children.
Before that, he had worked at P&G as the global brand attorney for Olay, supporting a billion dollar business.
As Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, he brought modern and professional reforms to the office, ended patronage and nepotism, launched a new website, cut fees for public records and put more services online.
"Pureval raised more than double what Chabot raised last quarter and is approaching the long-time incumbent's cash-on-hand total," said Sabato's Crystal Ball, weekly online political newsletter.
According to Dayton Daily news, Pureval raised USD 823,663 last quarter compared with USD 339,290 raised by Chabot.