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Indian American Candidate for Illinois State Senate is Largely Self-funding his Campaign in Hotly-contested Race

Indian American Candidate for Illinois State Senate is Largely Self-funding his Campaign in Hotly-contested Race

  • Dr. Dave Nayak, who runs a free asthma and allergy clinic and a farm, recently donated $40,000 to his campaign.

Dr. Dave Nayak, candidate for Illinois state Senate from the 20th District, has donated $40,000 to his campaign, Politico reported today. The Indian American Democrat is facing incumbent state Sen. Natalie Toro and fellow challengers Graciela Guzman and Geary Yonker in the primary. 

A post on X, by a user named Citizen ???????? Machine, notes that $529,000 of the $577,000 total contributions received by Nayak have come from himself. 

The Chicago-Sun described the 20th District state Senate seat as “most hotly contested” state Senate seat. The Daily Line noted in December, that Nayak’s “funding efforts lifted contribution limits in the race, setting the stage for an even more expensive race.”

Nayak runs a free asthma and allergy clinic in the city. The Peoria native also runs a downstate farm that “donates thousands of pounds of sweet corn to food banks across Illinois and parts of Iowa, Missouri and Indiana,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported. In 2022, he “pushed for a state legislation that helps cover funeral costs for the families of children killed by gun violence,” the report added. “I’ve cared for so many people, fed so many and buried so many,”he told the publication. 

In an earlier interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Nayak said he’s running for office because he understand “the pain our communities are experiencing with the boot of injustice pressing upon their throats.” His mission is “to provide a nourishing piece of life’s bread to tide our people over during their struggles,” he said. “I will provide the bread of hope, the bread of love, and the bread of faith that there are leaders who still deeply care for our people.”

He further told the publication that he “looks forward to continuing the historic legacy of the 20th District Senate seat as the first Asian-Indian State Senator from the 20th District.” He will “continue to foster relationships with our constituents, fight to reduce their pain, bring back resources via legislation, provide essential services, keep our community safe and promote economic prosperity.”

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As a child of two physicians, Nayak has “held care and concern for the physical and mental well-being of others from a young age,” his website says. He has traveled on medical mission trips to Trinidad and Tobago and Russia. He has served for five years as an attending physician at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, treating U.S. Veterans.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2003 from Cornell University and a Master of Public Health degree from Drexel University.  He went on to pursue his Medical Degree at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, graduating in 2010. He continued his training in Chicago, completing an Internal Medicine Residency at Rush University and a two-year fellowship in Allergy-Immunology at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He is Board-Certified in Allergy-Immunology and Internal Medicine.

He enjoys traveling with his wife and two children, David Jr. and Lily, rooting for the Chicago Bears and White Sox, practicing meditation and yoga, and playing with Cooper and Emma, the family dogs. He is an active member at First Presbyterian Church of Evanston and a proud parent of a student at The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and The Frances Xavier Warde School.

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