PAAIA Organizing Support for Darius Shahinfar’s Candidacy for U.S. Congress
Darius Shahinfar, an Iranian American, announced his candidacy for New York’s 21st Congressional District on March 9, 2008. Mr. Shahinfar is one of five Democratic candidates seeking the nomination to represent the 21st district. The seat became available when Congressman Michael R. McNulty (D-NY), a powerful member of the Ways and Means Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Social Security, announced his retirement. The primary election is scheduled for September 9, and New York’s 21st District is considered to be a safe Democratic district.
Darius Shahinfar was born in the United States after his father emigrated from Iran in 1959 to attend medical school. Mr. Shahinfar was brought up in New Hartford, NY and received his BA in American History with a concentration in Soviet Studies from Bates College. He graduated Cum Laude in 1997 from Albany Law School where he served as the editor-in-chief of the Albany Law Review. He was subsequently admitted to the New York and Massachusetts Bars.
Mr. Shahinfar has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. He was selected as a New York State Senate Fellow in 1997 and worked in the office of State Senator Mary Lou Rath. Subsequently he joined a law firm in Albany as a litigation attorney before taking a position in the New York State Appellate Division as an Assistant Court Attorney in 2001. Mr. Shahinfar then joined the Albany County Attorney’s office and eventually served as Deputy Country Attorney. Most recently, he served as Rep. Kristin Gillibrand’s regional representative tending to constituent issues and concerns.
As a proud first generation Iranian American, Darius Shahinfar knows first-hand what the United States means to people around the globe. “For centuries, America stood as a beacon of freedom and liberty. We were viewed as the nation of opportunity and of hope for a better, brighter tomorrow,” explains Shahinfar. “I believe in an America that is able to both defend our security and our Constitution at the same time. An America that is safe and strong at home and respected abroad.”
To date, no Americans of Iranian descent have served in the U.S. Congress. Mr. Shahinfar’s candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives reflects an increase in the number of Iranian Americans looking to serve the American public at the highest levels of government, as well as a welcome step toward further integration of Iranian Americans in the fabric of American civil society.
Darius Shahinfar is a viable and credible candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. Having met Mr. Shahinfar and discussed issues of interests to the Iranian American community with him, PAAIA looks forward to supporting his candidacy and encourages all Iranian Americans to do the same. To that end, we are currently planning a number of events in Washington DC and other locations across the country to introduce Mr. Shahinfar to members of the community and to raise funds for his campaign. Please contact us if you are interested in helping with this effort.