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Indo-American in bid for attorney general

Attorney Subodh Chandra will contest Democratic primaries for Ohio's attorney general.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 11:14 IST
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Indian American Subodh Chandra, a dynamic attorney who displayed a missionary zeal as director of Cleveland City's Law Office, has thrown his hat into the ring to contest Democratic primaries in the battle for Ohio's attorney general.

The primaries are to be held May 2 in this swing state that played a last-minute role in catapulting President George W. Bush to victory in his second term for office in 2004, defeating Democrat John Kerry.

With the sullied reputation of the former governor Bob Taft, Republicans are facing an uphill battle for some seats, and particularly that of attorney general -- and Chandra could benefit from this.

But he still has to win over his Democratic challenger, state Senator Marc Dann, who has strong support because of his role in keeping Republicans' feet to the fire in the state.

Chandra, who displayed missionary zeal as Cleveland law director, said he hopes to mirror the powerful role played by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who brought many a corporation to its knees through pro-active litigation and is now slated to be in the running for New York governor.

Chandra has roped in as fundraiser the renowned David Boeis, Al Gore's attorney in the landmark case that brought Bush to the White House on the controversial Florida vote-count.

Boeis has hosted two fundraisers for Chandra and given media interviews for him.

"We don't need a politician with a law degree for attorney general, we need a lawyer," Boies told Hannah News in an interview.

"The midwest and Ohio is obviously very important to the Democratic Party and the nation in general. We have good attorneys general elsewhere in the country, such as New York's Eliot Spitzer who are restoring integrity to the office.

"I believe Subodh has the ability to do that in Ohio. He is precisely the kind of candidate we need in the attorney general's race. He has practised law, he has prosecuted cases, and he knows how to act in the courtroom."

If Chandra wins the Democratic primary, he would face off with the winner among the two Republican contenders, Franklin county prosecutor Ron O'Brien and state Senator Tim Grendell.

Born and brought up in the US, Chandra became active in Democratic politics when then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton ran for the White House in the early 1990s.

He was among a group of young, bright and Democratic Indian Americans that began making their presence felt in the political scene. But he remained more of a low-key organiser than a front-burner candidate.

After leaving his law office directorship with a view to going into private practice, Chandra instead decided to join the hustings in what is going to prove one of the most-watched races in the state.

Chandra filed his official papers last week at the Secretary of State's office, submitting 2,600 signatures from supporters, well above the 1,000 required for filing.

In addition, Chandra gathered the important endorsement of former Ohio governor and former US Ambassador to India Richard Celeste.

First Published: Feb 22, 2006 11:14 IST