South Asians Emerge Victorious in 2017 Elections


A year after President Trump was elected the President of the United States on an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant platform, support for candidates of all gender identities, backgrounds, and races was vociferously made apparent as history-setting races were called across the country on Election Day this year.

South Asian-Americans, in particular, won some key races for local and state government positions in numerous states, highlighting the importance of public service and increasing the amount of representation in public office.

One candidate who truly had to fight his battles to victory was Councilman Ravinder “Ravi” Bhalla, who became one of the first Sikh mayors of a major U.S. city. Days before the election, campaign flyers, and posters were plastered across the city, labeling Bhalla as a “terrorist” who could not take over the town. Fortunately, the story ended well for Bhalla, who handled the racism with dignity and class and won the mayoral race in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Similarly, Balvir Singh, a high school math teacher, became the first Sikh to be elected to the Burlington County, New Jersey Freeholder Board after facing political ads that made fun of his name and suggested he would protect immigrant criminals. While Bhalla’s and Singh’s controversial election stories made news headlines, please join us in also congratulating these other deserving desi candidates who won their respective races and made our community proud last week:


Saud Anwar, Mayor, South Windsor


Sumbul Siddiqui, Councilwoman, Cambridge

New Jersey

Tahsina Ahmed, Councilwoman, Haledon

Assad Akhter, Freeholder, Passaic County

Sangeeta Doshi, Councilwoman, Cherry Hill Township

Vin Gopal, State Senator, 11th District

Sadaf Jaffer, Committee Member, Montgomery Township

Arati Kreibich, Councilwoman, Glen Rock

Hemant Marathe, Mayor, West Windsor

Joyce Mehta, Board of Education Member, South Brunswick

Raj Mukherji, Assemblyman, 33rd Legislative District

Shanti Narra, Freeholder, Middlesex County

Deven Patel, Board of Education Member, South Brunswick

Falguni Patel, Board of Education Member, Edison Township

Viru Patel, Councilman, Woodbridge Township

North Carolina

Dimple Ajmera, Councilwoman, Charlotte


Manka Dhingra, State Senator, 45th District

Satwinder Kaur, Councilwoman, Kent

By Tina Lapsia

Tina Lapsia is an attorney working and living in NYC. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law … Read more ›