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Amar Kaleka

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Amar Kaleka
Amar Kaleka.jpg
Candidate for
U.S. House, Wisconsin, District 1
Elections and appointments
Next primaryAugust 12, 2014
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
High schoolBay View High School
Bachelor'sMarquette University
Master'sSavannah College of Art and Design
Campaign website
Amar Kaleka was a 2014 Democratic candidate seeking election to the U.S. House to represent the 1st Congressional District of Wisconsin.[1]


Kaleka was born in Patiala, India. He immigrated to the United States with his family as a young child settling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[2]

After graduating from Bay View High School, Kaleka earned his B.A. from Marquette University. He majored in philosophy, psychology and Spanish literature and minored in criminology. While attending Marquette, he served in school's United States Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He went on to earn his M.F.A. in film and television studies from Savannah College of Art and Design.[3]

Professionally, Kaleka pursued a career as a filmmaker. Following his father's murder, Kaleka also became a national spokesperson on issues relating to hate crimes and mass shootings.[2]


Campaign themes


Kaleka listed the following campaign themes on his website:[4]

  • Civil rights
  • Government
  • Progressive economy
  • Education
  • Environment responsibility


Marijuana use

Kaleka admitted to using medical marijuana while living in California, after his father was killed in the Sikh temple shooting. [5]

"It's something I had used in the past to get over a lot of the anxiety, the sleepless nights, the hunger. I would be hungry, but I couldn't eat...The major things were depression, suicidal thoughts, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, going four or five days without sleep, and that really messes with you," Kaleka said.[5]


Kaleka is a filmmaker and divides his time between Los Angeles and Wisconsin. He claims Wisconsin is his home and points out he has paid taxes in both Wisconsin and California. He also contends his split residency does not hinder his campaign saying, "I don’t know if (where you live) corresponds to whether you’re going to do a good job in Congress. I would rather elect somebody who has a lot of national leadership experience and international experience."[6]


Sirius is Kaleka's latest documentary. The film discusses ."..the belief that oil interests and their allies in government have suppressed the existence of alternative energy sources." Kaleka said, "I don’t think that any knowledgeable human would say that extra-terrestrials don’t exist."[6]



See also: Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District elections, 2014

Kaleka ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent Wisconsin's 1st District. Kaleka sought the Democratic nomination in the primary. The general election took place November 4, 2014.[1]

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Kaleka's reports.

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Kaleka's reports.[7]

Amar Kaleka (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Year End[8]January 31, 2014$0$72,279$(14,892)$57,387
April Quarterly[9]April 15, 2014$57,387.16$37,438.00$(73,892.12)$20,933.04
Running totals


Kaleka is the son of Satwant Singh Kaleka, the Sikh temple president that was shot and killed along with five others in Milwaukee. The shooting occurred in 2012 at the Sikh temple.[1]

Kaleka also won an Emmy in 2010 for directing the documentary, Jacob's Turn.[1]

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