Indian-American community leader and Democrat Darshana Patel announced her bid to run for the California State Assembly District 76 in 2024.
Patel, 48, said she will not be seeking a third term as California’s Poway Unified School District board president.
The San Diego resident’s campaign has earned early endorsements from Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna.
“As the daughter of immigrants who struggled to realize the American Dream, I know the challenges that families can face during hard times. If not for great public school teachers and college scholarships I would not be where I am today,” Patel, who moved to California as a teen, said launching her campaign.
“I am running for State Assembly because I want to make sure that every person has the opportunity to succeed and thrive, and because I can use my experience as a scientist, elected school board member, and civic leader to make a difference in their lives,” she added.
Patel said in her campaign announcement that she wants to keep communities safe, invest in public education, protect the environment, and improve and expand quality healthcare access for Californians.
The election will be an open-seat contest, as incumbent Assembly member Brian Maienschein will be terming out.
California’s Assembly District 76 includes the cities of Escondido and San Marcos, portions of San Diego, and numerous unincorporated communities in San Diego County.
Patel has helped restore effective governance and fiscal responsibility to the Poway Unified School District while guiding local schools through the Covid-19 pandemic.
She also serves on the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs and is a member of the San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee.
Patel is a B.A .in Biochemistry at Occidental College and a PhD in Biophysics from the University of California, Irvine.