Chintan Desai seeks 1st District Congressional seat
Will challenge Crawford for House of Representatives in November
Chintan Desai knows he has an uphill battle as a Democrat to unseat Congressman Rick Crawford for the 1st District U.S. House of Representatives seat.
Crawford has held the seat since 2011 and the district has been trending more Republican over the last eight years.
But the more he travels the 30 counties which make up the rural district and talks to people, the greater the sense he gets that people actually appreciate being able to talk to the person who represents them in the nation’s capital.
Desai, a 29 year-old school teacher from Helena- West Helena, said Crawford has mostly been invisible in the district in his eight years in Congress.
“We have a congressman who isn’t listening to those concerns and actually being accessible,” Desai said.
Aside from not spending much time in the district, Desai said Crawford has shut down his Facebook page, has only one constituent office in the district — in Dumas, and has only held one town hall meeting in eight years.
“I would argue that he is the most inaccessible member of Congress,” Desai said. “To me, it’s a shame because if you are a Congressman you are elected to represent people. How are you doing that if you don’t actually talk to them?”
Desai said he is running for Congress because too many people are having to leave Arkansas and the Delta for economic reasons and a better life, much like his own parents had to do.
He is the son of immigrants who left Bombay, India to come to America in search of a better life. His father worked at a fast food restaurant, his mother at an arts and crafts store, and both held second jobs at a hotel in order to provide him with a good life in California.
“They are a typical immigrant story,” Desai said.
“They were looking for a
By Mark Randall