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Raj Bhakta to run on Republican ticket for Congress

Written by: Staff
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New York, Mar 13 (UNI) An Indian-American has been chosen to contest for Congress from Pennsylvania in the November elections, on the Republican Party ticket.

Mr Raj P Bhakta, a local businessman and a TV personage in Montgomery County in Pennsylvania, is running from the 13th Congressional District, the county's Republican Party unit announced.

Mr Bhakta, who was shot into fame with his appearance in ''The Apprentice'' show on Donald Trump's Reality TV, first announced his intention last year to contest on the Republican Party tag.

Ms Allyson Schwartz, a longtime lawmaker, will be his Democratic Party opponent in the midterm elections to the 435-member US House of Representatives. All the seats are up for grabs in the November 7 elections.

Mr Bhakta, often said during his campaign that there should be a three-term limit (in all six years) as he believes longer terms would breed corruption on Capitol Hill.

''I am not a politician. I am a businessman who is fed up with the scandals from both parties who have lost their way in Washington DC because they've become consumed with power as opposed to fighting for the people who sent them to office,'' he said.

The Indian-American was chosen over two other Republican aspirants for the seat -- wealthy lawyer Marina Katz and seasoned politician Roy Portner. Until 2000, when the district was redrawn, it was a Republican stronghold.

In the last election, the Democrat won with 52 per cent versus 48 per cent to the Republican.

Mr Bhakta is involved in Vanquish Holdings, a Fort Washington-based real estate firm, focused on the hospitality sector.

He graduated from Boston College in 1998 with degrees in Economics and History. He worked for an investment bank in New York for sometime. Nearly six years ago, he set up his own business for the first time -- a technology company focused on the automotive industry -- when he was just 23.

In the fall of 2004, Mr Bhakta drew attention of the audience from NBC's hit show ''The Apprentice''. Known for his witty remarks and engaging personality, he made a memorable impression on the American TV audience.

Mr Bharat Bhakta, Mr Raj Bhakta's father, is in the hotel and real estate business. His mother Mary, is a housewife.

UNI XC VJ DS1223

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