LEXINGTON, MA—Seven out of eight Indian-American candidates who ran for local elections in the town Lexington, MA, won. Now, a total of 12 Indian-Americans are elected members of the Lexington Town Meeting as compared with only two three years ago.
“This movement is historic,” said Narain Bhatia, a long-time Lexington resident and community activist who has played a key role in galvanizing Indian-Americans in local grass-root politics. “Great result despite heavy turnout because of presidential elections which tends to favor known contestants and incumbents.”
Indian-American winners of Lexington elections are: Precinct
Precinct-3: Sharmila Mudgal – 1 year term
Precinct-4: Anoop Garg – 3 year term
Precinct-5: Rita Pandey – 3 year term
Precinct-5: Anil Ahuja – 1 year term
Precinct-7: Vikas Kinger- 1 year term
Precinct-8: Nirmala Garimella – 1 year term
Precinct-9: Pam Joshi – 3 year term
The only Indian-American candidate to lose in the election was Hema Bhatt in Precinct-9.
“Hema Bhatt lost but got 375 votes and lost by just 36 votes while beating Scott Burson, a long time town meeting member and former School Committee member by 76 votes,” said Bhatia. “P9 was the most contested race of the precincts where Indian Americans were contesting.”
In addition to the winners in Tuesday’s elections, Indian-Americans have five current town meeting members whose term is not over making a total of twelve. The sitting members are:
Narain Bhatia, Ravish Kumar, Sanjay Padaki, Dinesh Patel and Syed Rizvi
Here is the bio of seven Indian-American candidates who won in Lexington’s Town Meeting elections:
Sharmila Mudgal has lived in Lexington for almost 15 years. She ran for Town Meeting Member from Precinct 3. She has 2 sons who graduated from Lexington High School and a daughter, who is currently a sophomore at LHS. Sharmila is a Physician, who practices at Sports Medicine North in Peabody. She hopes to bring her experience in healthcare as a clinician and administrator to Town Meeting.
Anoop Gargran for Town Meeting Member from Precinct 4 and has lived in Lexington with his family for 30+ years and he truly appreciates the town’s diversity, a fantastic school system, its great public library, sports fields, parks and playgrounds. His wife Kalpana is an educator who has taught at Lexington and Cambridge Montessori schools and is currently teaching in Newton. Their son went through the Lexington school system and Anoop, therefore, has first-hand knowledge of the incredible advantage a Lexington education gives young people as they begin their adult lives. For him it is now about giving back to this community. Anoop took early retirement from the corporate world where he managed various consulting and professional services organizations of large technology companies. He has a B.E. from IIT Delhi and an M.B.A. from SUNY, New York.
Anil Ahuja ran for Town Meeting Member from Precinct 5. Anil and his wife Lata, along with their 2 kids, Rahul (senior at Lexington High) and Anika (6th grader at Clark), have lived in Lexington since 2006. He has Bachelors in Accounting, an MBA in Information Systems, and an MS in Computer Information Systems. He is an avid Chess player and teaches kids at academy of creative arts. Anil is interested in helping alleviate problems faced by Lexington Schools as well as ensuring that taxpayer money is utilized efficiently.
Rita Pandey ran for Town Meeting Member from Precinct 5. She has been living in Lexington since 1988 where she raised 3 children who went through the Lexington Public Schools. During that time she earned a PhD in Sanskrit and Philosophy and became the Assistant Director of Harvard Summer School where she implemented a number of innovative programs. Dedicated to the community, she has volunteered for many organizations such as the Perkins school for the blind, Harvard Square homeless shelter, Cambridge community meals program, and Parents helping parents. She has also been an instructor of Hindi, teaching classes at the Lexington Community Center and for the Hindi Club at MIT. Since her retirement in the summer of 2015 she has become an ombudsman. Rita is passionate about creating collaborative projects to address issues such as: ageing, the elderly and their connection to the community, improving education and providing inquiry based projects and opportunities, growth and diversity, and creating a forum where people can share their enormous reservoir of knowledge and skills.
Vikas Kinger, ran in Precinct. His wife, Bhawna and he have lived in Lexington for over 8 years and their two sons Savik and Vikern go to Lexington Public Schools. As a management professional, he plans to use his finance and negotiation skills to find common ground and to keep Lexington moving in the right direction.
Nirmala Garimella ran for town meeting in Precinct 8. She has lived in Lexington for 18 years with her husband Paramesh and two children, daughter Swini and son Kaustubh both of whom have graduated from the Lexington public schools. She currently works for a global non-profit and have a certification in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Boston University.
Pamela Joshi ran for Town Meeting Member from Precinct 9 (Bridge School area). She and her husband, Brent, have a son at Clark Middle School and are active volunteers in LPS and LUSC. Pamela has been a common sight at Brookhaven caring for her mom and is currently in her third term on the Lexington Human Services Committee. Pamela has a Ph.D. and Masters in Public Policy, is an experienced policy analyst, project director and teacher at Brandeis University. Pamela is running for re-election and looks forward to continuing her active involvement in Town Meeting.