Ravi Patel makes House run official

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 17, 2015 5:00 AM

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Ravi Patel, an eastern Iowa entrepreneur with key influence in Iowa’s burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem and a leader in Iowa’s hospitality industry will run for U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat in the state’s 1st Congressional District, he told The Daily Iowan in an interview Monday afternoon.

"There are so many industries that we’ve innovated, and I think now it’s time to innovate politics," Patel said.

The announcement by the 29-year-old resident of Cedar Rapids who serves as the president of Iowa City-based Hawkeye Hotels comes less than a month after he outlined his perceived campaign expectations to the DI in late January.

He becomes the second Democrat to announce congressional aspirations in the Democratic-leaning district in the northeast portion of the state. On Jan. 15, Cedar Rapids City Councilor Monica Vernon unveiled a bid to unseat first-term Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa.

Vernon, who was former state Sen. Jack Hatch’s lieutenant-governor pick in the 2014 gubernatorial election, has already amassed over a dozen endorsements and is weeks from what she has described will be an aggressive fundraising campaign.

Patel has already mustered up several state and national endorsements but declined to name supporters Monday afternoon.

He said he has met with almost every county chairman in the 20-county area, which includes Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and Dubuque.

— by Quentin Misiag

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