Swati Shah Patel, picked by the South Carolina mayor to be his chief deputy counsel, epitomizes the typical success story of an immigrant teenager wanting to make a career in American politics.
Patel, daughter of Indian immigrant parents, was informed about Governor Mark Sanford's choice in December and was extremely excited about joining the legislative staff in the state House of Representatives.
"I have always loved politics, it is interesting, intriguing and also involves a lot of public interest work. I am really excited and happy that I've been asked to join Governor Sanford's office," Patel said.
"I worked for five years there and enjoyed every moment of it," she said, referring to her days as an intern in the House of Representatives.
Patel married Nitin Patel, a medical graduate, last year and even moved to Orlando, Florida to join him. However, the December call from the mayor's office forced her to return to South Carolina.