Michigan, USA - 28-year old West Bloomfield attorney John Kuriakuz officially filed paperwork last week with Oakland County establishing himself as a Democratic candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives in District 39. Last week also marked his last day at a Detroit law firm, where he walked away from a six-figure salary to focus full-time on winning the race to represent his hometown in the State House.
In January, Kuriakuz filed papers with the Secretary of State showing that before the New Year even began, his campaign had already raised over $45,000.
"I am passionate about serving my hometown in the State Legislature and am very grateful for the amount of support I've received so early on," Kuriakuz said. "I am especially proud to announce that unlike many candidates, I did not raise any money from special interest groups. All of my supporters are longtime friends, neighbors and relatives who have known me for years, believe in my abilities and support my vision for the State of Michigan."
Kuriakuz was born and raised in West Bloomfield and attended West Bloomfield public schools from kindergarten through the 12th grade. He received Bachelor's, Master's, and law degrees from Stanford University in California and spent two years as an analyst on Wall Street.
"Given the options available to me, my classmates and co-workers often questioned my desire to settle permanently in Michigan," said Kuriakuz. "For me the decision was easy. Although our State has its current troubles, I firmly believe that with resilience and dedication we as a people can work together to achieve great things for our State."
Kuriakuz is especially concerned about Michigan's current economic crisis.
Once elected, he will push for tax incentives for job-creating businesses, extension of tax relief to homeowners in the wake of falling real estate values, and solid investment in our children's education without compromise.
Kuriakuz also strongly believes that Legislators who vow to protect the environment should be held to their word without exception or excuse.
"Most people are surprised by my willingness to put my legal career on hold to enter this race. I've been told by some people that I'm young and 'can afford to wait.' But when you look at what's going on around us here in Michigan, I don't think that any of us can afford to wait," Kuriakuz concluded.
Born in West Bloomfield to immigrant parents from Iraq and Mexico, Kuriakuz attended West Bloomfield public schools from K-12 and continued his education at Stanford University in California. He completed both a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University at the age of 21. He was then hired by Wall Street investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, & Co. as a financial analyst in its fixed-income, currency and commodities division. Kuriakuz later received a law degree from Stanford Law School and is now an attorney specializing in commercial litigation in both Michigan state and federal courts.
Kuriakuz is a member of Prince of Peace Parish and is an active and proud member of the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and the West Bloomfield Optimist Club. He also volunteers his time for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society.