A 40-year-old Indian-American economic development professional has declared his candidacy for the US Senate from Louisiana. Abhay Patel, from New Orleans, is one of the six Republicans to have entered into this race the seat of which has been vacated by Senator David Vitter who announced last year that he would not seek re-election for the seat. Currently, the Vice President of business development for the New Orleans Business Alliance, Patel is a former Wall Street investment banker who at one time raised in excess of USD 30 billion for transactions like Hertz' acquisition of Dollar Thrifty. "I'm not a career politician. I'm a businessman who learned about hard work and sacrifice by watching my immigrant parents," Patel said yesterday while announcing his candidature. "Over my career, I've advised some of our nation's most important companies, led economic development and promoted the overall growth of our local, state and national economy," he said making his case to the people of Louisiana. Observing that for Louisiana to thrive, however, Washington must get out of the way, he said the US Constitution was written to control the size and scope of the federal government, but today Washington controls every aspect of American life. "I am a Republican who will fight tirelessly to defend our Constitution and to ensure that the people of Louisiana have the power to control our own destiny," said Patel, whose parents are immigrants from India. In an interview to a media outlet, Patel said that he wants to improve India-US relationship. "India is fast becoming one of our closest allies and it is important that we continue to grow this burgeoning relationship," he said. "With China to its east and Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran to its west, India's geography makes the nation a critical partner in helping the US and its allies achieve regional and global stability and security. "In addition, the US can benefit from India's rising economy, bringing new opportunities in trade, investment, and technology," Patel said.