WALTHAM, MA—Vermont State Rep. Kesha Ram, an Indian-American who has been named in the INDIA New England News’s annual list of 20 outstanding women in 2011, is running for Lt. Governor of Vermont.
Ram, a Democrat, has served in the Vermont legislature as a State Representative for eight years.
“I will be very honored to get support from and outreach to other Indian-Americans around the country,” 29-year-old Ram told INDIA New England News. “Being in Vermont, I am not only the first Indian-American to run for an office but run for the office of Lieutenant Governor.”
Ram said she has been active with South Asian communities in state, especially with Bhutanese and Nepali communities.
Ram’s website says: “she is running for Lieutenant Governor to build and strengthen the economy for working families, expand access to comprehensive early and higher education, and ensure that Vermonters in every corner of our state have a strong advocate in Montpelier.”
Ram is locked in a three-way race for the Democratic party nomination. Other Democratic Party candidates are: Brandon Riker, a businessman, political organizer and economist, and David Zuckerman, State Senator, farmer, and ex-State Representative. The winner of the Democratic Primary, which will be held on Aug. 9, will face Republican Randy Brock, a businessman, ex-State Auditor and ex-State Senator.
The youngest of three children, Ram is the product of a culturally diverse household – her father immigrated from India, while her mother grew up in Illinois, according to her bio. With her parents as role models in embracing diversity, equity and community service, Ram developed her passion for advocacy and civic engagement in her early years.
She attended the University of Vermont, where she graduated with degrees in Natural Resource Planning and Political Science. She also completed a public law program at American University.
In 2008, Ram was elected to represent Burlington’s Old North End, Hill Section, and University District. During her time in the Vermont House of Representatives, she has served on the House Ways & Means, Natural Resources & Energy, and Housing & Military Affairs Committees, as well as on the ad hoc Joint Legislative Technology Committee.
Ram is the Public Engagement Specialist for the City of Burlington Community and Economic Development Office, building relationships and empowering people to participate in city government. Prior to joining municipal government, she was the legal director for Women Helping Battered Women, assisting victims of domestic violence in the courtroom and throughout family and criminal legal proceedings. She currently serves on the boards of the Center for Whole Communities, Emerge Vermont, and the University of Vermont.