Washington: Indian-American Aneesh Chopra, a former White House IT czar, has won the straw poll for Virginia Lieutenant Governor, giving a big boost to his electoral ambitions later this year.
40-year-old Chopra, who had formally entered the race last week, received more than 70 per cent of the votes in the straw poll held last night.
"This victory was possible because of the power of our grassroots network. Hundreds of folks from across the area turned out tonight because they are energized for this campaign and for Democratic victories in 2013," Chopra said.
"I am humbled by the support I have received, and am honored to continue the fight for smarter, fairer government," he said in a statement yesterday.
This is the second straw poll won by Chopra. The first he won last month. If elected, he would be the first Indian American to be elected to the top post in Virginia.
"I decided to run for Lieutenant Governor because I firmly believe that our state government can be smarter, faster, better and fairer for all Virginians. This is a message that is resonating across the Commonwealth, and I look forward to engaging with more Virginians on it in the coming months," he said in a statement earlier.
Son of immigrants in Trenton, New Jersey, Chopra has spent his life focusing on education and innovation. His father immigrated to the US in 1966. He enrolled in the engineering programme at Villanova University and went on to earn three patents for his work in the refrigeration industry.
Chopra attended Johns Hopkins University and then the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Given his talent, he was tapped by the Virginia Governor Tim Kaine as his Secretary of Technology.
In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him as the nation`s first Chief Technology Officer.
In this role, he was charged with promoting innovation to address the nation`s most urgent priorities -- from creating jobs to reducing health care costs and keeping our nation secure.
As with his work in Virginia, Aneesh brought new energy to tackle some of our nation`s biggest problems.
Upon his departure to run for office, President Obama said, "his legacy of leadership and innovation will benefit Americans for years to come, and I thank him for his outstanding service."