Indian Americans made it big in the November 7 general elections as many of the candidates from the community won to city councils.
Vijay Kapoor of Asheville, North Carolina; Seema Singh Perez of Knoxville, Tennessee; Dimple Ajmera of Charlotte, North Carolina; Satwinder Kaur of Kent, Washington; Tanika Padhye of Redmond, Washington; and Sam Joshi emerge as the winners in their respective Council seats.
Vijay Kapoor, who holds a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, earned most number of votes than the other six candidates with 23 percent, about 10,491 votes. Other two candidates in the top three, Sheneika Smith with 20 percent votes and Gwen Wisler with 18 percent votes were also named to the council. The 41-year-old Kapoor is also the first Asian American City council member. The first time candidate was running since February.
Seema Singh Perez
Seema Singh Perez is also the first Indian American in the Knoxville City Council and she defeated James Corcoran 6,105-4,470 in Council District 3. The City Council Movement candidate decided to be involved in local politics as she wanted an active role in changing and affecting policy to be more responsible to underrepresented people.
The 31-year-old Indian American Democrat Dimple Tansen Ajmera managed to earn a seat and finished fourth in the council elections. Ajmera, who was earlier appointed to the council to fill the District 5 seat vacated by John Autry, earned 59,733 votes, which was 12,000 more than the Republican John Powell in the fifth place received. She has the distinction of being the first Asian American and the youngest woman to serve on the Charlotte City Council.
Sikh American Satwinder Kaur, a former City of Kent employee, came first in the election to the Kent City Council Position 2 with 5,846 votes (56.8 percent), 1032 votes higher than that received to Paul Addis in the second position.
Tanike Padhye retained her Richmond’s No. 4 City Council Seat beating Zakhareyev with 61 percent of the vote. The civil rights attorney was first appointed to the Council in March this year.
Another Indian American Sam Joshi, who is a financial executive by profession, won one of the three four-year council seats available in the Edison City Council with 11,827 votes. He came second behind Robert Diehl (12,382) and Alvaro Gomez with 11,717 has won the third place. All the three are Democrats.
Indian Americans Maya Vengadeasalam of Kent, Washington and Falguni Patel of Edison, New Jersey won the respective School Board Seats.
The Indian American candidates who faced defeat are: Hari Pillai in the Cambridge, Mass., City Council race; Preeti Shridhar in Seattle for the Port of Seattle Commissioner seat; Rituja Indapure in the Sammamish, Wash., City Council race; Rekha Nandwani in Jersey City, N.J., City Council race; Krishna Chachra in the Blacksburg, Va., council race.