Adem Bunkeddeko, Son of Ugandan Refugees, Nearly Wins Seat to U.S. Congress

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Adem Bunkeddeko. Source:  www.ademforcongress.com
 
Adem Bunkeddeko, 30, the Harvard-educated son of Ugandan refugees nearly won a seat to the U.S. Congress, losing by barely 1,000 votes to Yvette Clarke, the incumbent of 12 years. 
 
The 9th Congressional District is in Brooklyn, New York, and this was the primary election. The District is heavily Democratic and whomever wins the primary race normally defeats token challenges from a Republican. Clarke barely beat Bunkeddeko, who is running for political office for the first time ever, about 52% to 48%; Clarke herself is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants. 
 
According to a biographical video on his website www.ademforcongress.com, Bunkeddeko's family fled civil war in Uganda in 1980.
 
Bunkeddeko got a tremendous boost when he was endorsed by The New York Times. He attacked Rep. Clarke, claiming that in all the years she had represented the District in Washington, she had never originated a single bill which was passed into law. Clarke on the other hand attacked the challenger as a political novice who was backed by large business interests from outside the District. She claimed he would represent the interest of wealthy people and not support initiatives that would support low-income communities such as affordable housing.
 
But Bunkeddeko nearly pulled off a remarkable upset and his political future, at only the age of 30, seems to be very bright. He could run for other political office or run against Clarke again in two years time. Bunkeddeko said he is a community organizer, which recalls the experience of former President Barack Obama who was also a community organizer in Chicago, before launching his political career. Obama also lost his first race for Congress --by a far wider margin. He was later elected to the Senate, and the rest is history. 
 
Bunkeddeko is reported to have spent about $231,000 for the race, compared to Clarke's $620,000. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. He grew up poor in a one-bedroom apartment in Queens, New York, with three siblings and his parents before attending college.
 
The last time Clarke had a primary challenger was in 2012 and she won by about 76 points. She had no challengers in the last four primary races; then Bunkeddeko arrived on the scene like a political meteor. 
 
 
 
 

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