Indian-American Aneesh Paul Chopra, the first chief technology officer of the US, has formally entered the race for Virginia Lieutenant Governor.
Chopra yesterday submitted 20,630 petition signatures, more than double of the minimum 10,000 signatures required, to qualify for ballot access in the June Democratic Primary.
"This is a credit to the grassroots network that drives this campaign," Chopra said yesterday upon delivering his petition signatures.
"This is just one step along the road to victory, but I am incredibly proud of our efforts across the Commonwealth. Today wouldn't be possible without our dedicated and hardworking supporters and volunteers," Chopra said.
If elected, he would be the first Indian American to be elected to the top post in Virginia.
"I decided to run for the post as I firmly believe our state government can be smarter, faster, better, and fairer for all Virginians. This is a message that is resonating
across the Commonwealth, and I look forward to engaging with more Virginians on it in the coming months," he said.
The Indian American community in Virginia has come out in support of Chopra.
"Aneesh Chopra is committed to making government work better, smarter, faster, and fairer. He's a forward-thinking innovator who has served as Virginia's Secretary of Technology and as the first Chief Technology Officer of the US," said Lavika Bhagat Singh.
Chopra announced his candidacy "to finish what he started when he first joined the government -- harnessing innovative capacity of the country to solve problems," he said.
Key supporters from around Virginia who have endorsed his campaign include Congressman Jim Moran and former Congressmen Rick Boucher and Tom Perriello.
Chopra, son of immigrants in Trenton, New Jersey, has spent his life focusing on education and innovation.
His father immigrated to the US in 1966, and enrolled in the engineering program at Villanova University and went on to earn three patents for his work in the refrigeration industry.
Chopra attended Johns Hopkins University and then the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
He was tapped by the Virginia Governor Tim Kaine as his Secretary of Technology and in 2009, Us President Barack Obama appointed him as the nation's first Chief Technology Officer.
Chopra was entrusted with promoting innovation to address nation's most urgent priorities like creating jobs to reducing health care costs, besides keeping the nation secure.
Upon his departure to run for office, President Obama said, "his legacy of leadership and innovation will benefit Americans for years to come, and I thank him for his