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Goyal, Goyle, Dhillon, Dandekar, Nikki & Patel

Indian-Americans running for state legislatures include three seeking reelection, one moving to the Senate and two who are trying to get in for the first time.

world Updated: Nov 03, 2008 23:41 IST
V Krishna

Indian-Americans running for state legislatures include three seeking reelection, one moving to the Senate and two who are trying to get in for the first time.

Democrat Jay Goyal, at 27 the youngest member of the Ohio House of Representatives, is seeking reelection from Mansfield and adjacent areas of Richland county between Columbus and Cleveland.

He faces Republican doctor David D. Nitzsche, 49. Goyal, an engineer, says economic development focusing on job creation is his top priority. “It’s looking good, without taking things for granted,” the 2007 Ohio Young Democrat of the Year tells HT.

Raj Goyle, a 33-year-old Harvard-trained lawyer, is running for reelection to the Kansas House of Representatives from Wichita in the south-central part of the state. He faces Republican Fred C. Pinaire.

Republican Nikki Randhawa Haley, 36, faces Air Force veteran Edward Gomez in her bid for reelection to the South Carolina House of Representatives from Lexington county. In 2004 she became the first Indian American to win a state House seat on the GOP ticket.

Haley, who has been recognised as a “Taxpayer Hero,” has said she plans to run for chair of the Labour, Commerce and Industry Committee if reelected. She is chief financial officer of her family’s clothing company, Exotica International.

Democrat Swati Dandekar of Iowa, 57, is running for the state Senate after serving in the House. Dandekar, the first Indian-born American citizen to win a state legislature seat, has received several awards for her work in the community.

Harmeet K. Dhillon, founder of a law firm and a civil rights leader, is the Republican candidate for the California Assembly from the 13th District in heavily Democratic San Francisco.

Her priority is balancing the budget.

Dhillon’s Democratic opponent, Tom Ammiano, would not debate her because he’d get clobbered, the San Francisco Examiner said.

Yatin “Tony” Patel, a 40-year-old architect, is trying to unseat Republican Charles E. Martin Jr. in the Georgia General Assembly. The district, which includes Alpharetta and Roswell, is north of Atlanta.

For this Democrat, education, health care and fiscal responsibility in the state are top issues. “It’s down to the wire. We have knocked on almost every door we can — last total 16,233,” Patel says.