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New York Voters Rule on Iranian-American Shahinfar Next Tuesday

By Grace Nasri, Iran Times


Iranian-Americans hosted a fund-raiser last month to boost Darius Shahinfar, who is seeking the Democratic nomination next week for an upstate New York seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Shahinfar was born to an Iranian father who immigrated to the United States in 1959.  He was raised in Utica, New York.


Darius Shahinfar for Congress

Shahinfar is a former Albany County deputy attorney who served as a campaign aide to New York Representative Kirsten Gillibrand in the 2006 election.  Since then, Shahinfar has served as her representative in Albany.


At the August 7 fund-raiser, Hassan Nemazee-a leader of the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) and a national finance chair for New York Senator Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign-said, "Running for public office is a daunting task. Being successful often requires running at the right time and in the right place. Darius Shahinfar is a candidate running at the right time and in the right place, and has a real opportunity to be the first Iranian-American to be elected to the U.S. Congress."  Nemazee urged the reception crowd to boost Shahinfar by financially supporting his campaign. "He is within striking distance of making history."


Co-host and Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) Board member Cyrus Amir-Mokri introduced Shahinfar by addressing why he and so many other Iranian Americans are supportive of the Shahinfar campaign. "As a proud first generation Iranian-American, Darius shares our experiences and love for America," explained Amir-Mokri. "He has worked at all levels of government-federal, state, and local, and will make an effective legislator."


Shahinfar spoke about the dynamics of his campaign. "This is a wide open race," he said. "We have put together a formidable team and recently added Joe Trippi & Associates as part of our media and Internet communications arm." Trippi is well known for his work in producing successful television advertisements but also for his revolutionary ideas in utilizing the Internet for political campaigns.


Shahinfar also spoke about his experience working for Congresswoman Gillibrand. "I am the only candidate in this race who has actually worked for the U.S. House of Representatives," said Shahinfar. "I know how a representative can fight on behalf of working families and bring about positive change."


Shahinfar said. "The level of enthusiasm my candidacy has generated in the Iranian-American community has been deeply moving for me and my family.  With your continued support, I will be able to spend my time working to earn the support of the people in the 21st Congressional District of New York, so I can be the first Iranian-American sent to Congress," Shahinfar said.


The candidate told the Iran Times, "The Iranian-American Community has given my historic campaign overwhelming support from across the country.  I am pleased that my candidacy is providing a rallying point for more and more Iranian-Americans to get involved in the political process.  Their desire for our voice to be heard has shown what a difference the community can make.  I would like to thank the community for everything they have done and I know that there will be continued interest in politics in the future."


Shahinfar graduated from Bates College in Maine-where he received a bachelor's in American History.  In 1994, Shahinfar moved to Albany to attend Albany Law School, where he was elected president of his class his first year and was Student Bar president his second year. He then went on to serve as editor-in-chief of the Albany Law Review. During those years, Shahinfar met his wife, Noelle Kinsch, of Kingston, New York. He graduated cum laude, winning the award for Student Service, and being selected as the recent graduate trustee on the law school's Board of Trustees.


Shahinfar lives with his family in the heart of Albany. Together with his wife Noelle, a partner with an Albany Law Firm, they are raising their two-year-old son, Jackson, and are expecting their second child later this year.  Shahinfar's district encompasses parts of Albany and several communities to the west.  The primary is September 9.  


Click here to learn more about Darius Shahinfar and his campaign.



About Iran Times: The Iran Times is an independent newspaper with no affiliation with any political party or faction The Iran Times corporation was founded in Washington D.C. in 1970, in accordance with U.S. federal and local regulations:

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