Democratic party nominee Raj Mukherji, a rising Indian-American figure on the political scene of New Jersey, has won the State Assembly polls in New Jersey, becoming one of the youngest to be elected to the house.
29-year-old Mukherji, a first-time Democratic nominee for the 33rd Legislative District and former Jersey City Deputy Mayor, had won the primary election in June by a 36-point margin.
According to the Office of County Clerk, Hudson County, Mukherji got 18,586 votes and will represent the Legislative District, which covers Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken and parts of Jersey City.
He is the son of Indian American immigrants and has had a stellar rise in the political arena.
According to information provided by his 'Raj Mukherji for Assembly' website, Mukherji supported himself through high school, college and grad school as an emancipated minor when his parents were forced to return to India due to economic constraints.
His father Asim Mukherji was an accountant who could not work because of health reasons and could not afford health coverage without employment. †
"This experience shaped Raj's perspective and interest in healthcare and inspired much of his subsequent advocacy in that field," according to personal information about Mukherji posted on the website.
From March 2012 through June 2013, Mukherji served as one of the two Deputy Mayors of Jersey City, New Jersey's second largest city.
He had also founded an internet consulting and software development company while in middle school, which he later sold to a larger technology company.
Following the September 11 attacks in the city, Mukherji joined the US Marines at age 17, where he served in military intelligence for the Marine Corps Reserve.
At 19, he co-founded a public affairs firm that he grew into the state's third largest lawyer-lobbying firm while learning the inner workings of the State House.
With clients ranging from social justice causes to higher education institutions to government agencies to Fortune 500 corporations, he advocated to abolish the death penalty in New Jersey and replace it with life imprisonment without parole and lobbied for equality for lesbians, gays and transgender community.
At age 24, Mukherji was appointed the youngest Commissioner and Chairman in the history of the Jersey City Housing Authority - the state's second largest housing authority - where his work for various reforms at the USD 70 million agency serving over 16,000 residents and over 6,700 households was widely appreciated.