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Satveer Chaudhury

Member of the Minnesota Senate
from the 50th district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
2003
Preceded by Debbie Johnson

Member of the Minnesota Senate
from the 52nd district
In office
2001 – 2002
Preceded by Steven G. Novak
Succeeded by Michele Bachmann

Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 52A district
In office
1997 – 2001
Preceded by Skip Carlson
Succeeded by Barbara Goodwin

Born June 12, 1969 (1969-06-12) (age 40)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Political party DFL
Spouse(s) Dee Chaudhury
Children 4
Residence Fridley, Minnesota
Occupation attorney, business consultant
Religion Hinduism
Website http://www.chaudhary.org
Best friend Shidhu Mitra

Satveer Chaudhary (Hindi: सतवीर चौधरी) (born June 12, 1969) is an American politician in the Minnesota State Senate. He is currently a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.[1] He was the first Asian American to hold an elected office in Minnesota, and also one of the youngest senators in the history of that state.[2]

Contents

Early life and career

Chaudhary was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1969 to Jat ethnicity[3] parents from Haryana[4], India. He grew up in Fridley, where in 1987 he graduated from Columbia Heights High School. He received his B.A. from St. Olaf College, and continued his studies in law at the University of Minnesota Law School where he received his J.D. He then proceeded to Oxford University where he studied British and American foreign policy.[1]

Two weeks after graduating from law school in the late 1990s, he threw his name into the hat for the State Representative election. He earned third place in the tally.[2]

Work

He was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1996, defeating Republican candidate Dan Coughlin and netting 53% of the vote even after failing to receive the endorsement of either the Pioneer Press or the Star Tribune in that campaign. While in the House, he became one of the leading voices for affordable medicine for the populace. He also worked on environmental legislation and financial reform of the Minnesota State Lottery system. He was a member of the Police Officers Alliance of Minnesota and the Minnesota Conservation Federation.[5]

When he joined the Senate in 2000 at age 31, he was the youngest senator in Minnesota History.[2] He has been the vice-chair for the Game and Fish Committee, Chief author of the LCMR 2005 (Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources) reform bill, and co-authored legislation on clean air and water.[6][7] In 2006, he was appointed by Senate majority leader Dean Johnson to serve on the newly created Legislative and Citizen’s Commission on Minnesota Resources.[6]

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On Indian-American ties

While in the senate, Chaudhary worked to boost ties between Minnesota and Haryana, which included his visit to Rohtak. The visit was made to emphasize economic and political ties between India and the United States, and described by Chaudhury as a "tryst with destiny"[8]. Mainly due to his efforts, the state of Minnesota and the Indian state of Haryana are now sister states[9][10]. . Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed this into law during a recent trade trip to India, stating that it would build new bridges between the states[11]. Chaudhury noted:

Minnesota and Haryana are traditionally agricultural states and that gives us common ground not just in terms of economy but also in terms of culture[9]

Hindu-American advocacy

He also helped the Hindu community of Minnesota when the Maple Grove Hindu temple was vandalized. Chaudhury assisted the Hindu community in their efforts for justice.[12]

Election results

House of Representatives
  • In 1996, he won the Democratic primary for the Minnesota House of Representatives with 66% and won the general election with 53%.
  • He was re-elected in 1998 to the House by a large margin[2].
Senate
  • In 2000, he was elected to the state Senate
  • Reelected in 2002
  • Reelected in 2006

Controversy

In 2002, a complaint was filed with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board of Minnesota against the organization "Friends of Satveer Chaudhary Committee". It alleged that

Committee failed to report some contributions and expenditures on the Senate Committee’s Report of Receipts and Expenditures for 2000. Specifically, the Complainant alleged that the Senate Committee failed to report expenditures for mailings in 2000.

The charges against him were dismissed by the State Board of Minnesota, and he was found to have engaged in no wrongdoing.[13]

Personal life

He lives in Fridley with his wife Dee and their four children. He is an avid sportsman and environmentalist. He is an attorney and a business consultant.

References

  1. ^ a b Senator Satveer Chaudhary - Asian American Bios
  2. ^ a b c d Chaudhary’s Appeal—South Asian Sensibility Asianweek - September 15, 2000
  3. ^ The Economic Times (October 25, 2007). "Minnesota's Jat connection". The Economic Times. http://www1.economictimes.indiatimes.com/ET_Features/Special_Pages/The_Global_Indian_Takeover/Minnesotas_Jat_connection/articleshow/2487959.cms. Retrieved 2007-11-17.  
  4. ^ NRI News -Satveer Chaudhary - NRI Politicians
  5. ^ Candidate Profile STAR Tribune - November 7, 2006
  6. ^ a b Sen. Chaudhary appointed to new legislative commission - Minnesota State Senate
  7. ^ Senator of Indian origin files for re-election Hindustan Times - July 21, 2006
  8. ^ Senator Chaudhary visits MDU Tribune India - December 11, 2002
  9. ^ a b Minnesota's Jat connection Economic Times - October 25, 2007
  10. ^ Haryana, Minnesota sign partnership Tribune, Haryana - October 24, 2007
  11. ^ Haryana, Minnesota sign pact Express India - October 24, 2007
  12. ^ "Hindu temple vandalised in US" WWRN - April 10, 2006
  13. ^ FINDINGS IN THE MATTER OF A COMPLAINT REGARDING SATVEER CHAUDHARY - Campaign Finance Board of Minnesota

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Skip Carlson
Minnesota House of Representatives District 52A
1997 – 2001
Succeeded by
Barbara Goodwin
Preceded by
Steven G. Novak
Minnesota Senate District 52
2001 – 2002
Succeeded by
Michele Bachmann
Preceded by
Debbie J. Johnson
Minnesota Senate District 50
2003 – Present
Succeeded by
Incumbent

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