Dr. Jamshad I. Wyne, a Republican, Pakistani-American cardiologist, is running for a
vacant open Congressional seat from NYC's Staten Island.
Turns out a former friend he's competing with for the Republican nomination is accusing him of trying to mask his Pakistani heritage. From NYT's Jonathan Hicks:
In just the last week, Dr. Jamshad I. Wyne, the finance chairman of the Republican Party on Staten Island and a candidate for Congress, accused his rival in the primary, former Assemblyman Robert A. Straniere, of trying to persuade him to make illegal contributions to Mr. Straniere’s failed 2001 campaign for Staten Island borough president.
Mr. Straniere, while passionately denying the charges, pointed out that Dr. Wyne, a cardiologist, recently began using Jim in his campaign literature, rather than his legal first name, Jamshad, as he is listed on the ballot for the Sept. 9 primary. That change, Mr. Straniere said, is an attempt by Dr. Wyne to conceal his Pakistani and Muslim roots.
The doctor would be better off, Mr. Straniere said, focusing on the issues and not being ashamed of his roots (Dr. Wyne was born in Pakistan.)
“It’s not a crime to change your name,” Mr. Straniere said. “There is no reason he shouldn’t be proud to be a Pakistani and Muslim.”
Dr. Wyne said that he had been using the name Jim lately only because it was easier for most voters to remember. Critics of Mr. Straniere in the party say that he is highlighting Dr. Wyne’s Pakistani heritage to make him seem out of the mainstream in the district, which is nearly 75 percent white.
The Republican primary is on Sept. 9, 2008.
Here's a video clip of an interview with the the Staten Island Advance's Tom Wrobleski:
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