Son of Slain Sikh Temple Leader Challenging Paul Ryan

Amar Kaleka will run for congress, he tells AP
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2013 11:32 AM CDT
Son of Slain Sikh Temple Leader Challenging Paul Ryan
In this Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 photo, film director and producer Amardeep Kaleka poses for a photo in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Challenging Paul Ryan in next year's congressional election: Amar Kaleka, the son of the Sikh temple president who was slain in the Wisconsin temple shooting last year. Kaleka says the shooting, which also killed five others at the Milwaukee temple his father founded, was a turning point for him, and after the tragedy he decided to seek public office earlier than he had previously planned. He was particularly upset that President Obama never visited the temple; Kaleka is an Obama supporter, but feels the president was attempting to avoid the controversial issue of gun control during an election year.

Congress is "more concerned with the groups, the corporations that are giving them money than with what the people want," Kaleka tells the AP, citing polls that show the vast majority of Americans support stronger gun background checks. Of course, he faces an uphill battle; Ryan is very popular, and raised a staggering $1.7 million during the first half of the year. But his support slipped a bit last year, and Kaleka blames him for the quite unpopular government shutdown, seeing as he chairs the House Budget Committee. "There's a fever in the nation, and specifically in this district, for our leaders to stop playing politics and do their jobs," Kaleka says. (More Amar Kaleka stories.)

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