“Iam deeply humbled by the verdict of the constituents of the 17th dis- trict who have returned me for a
7th consecutive term to the state legislature,” said Upendra J Chivukula, who
won the New Jersey assembly seat in the
November 5 election.
He received 23,166 votes while his
Democratic running mate Assemblyman
Joseph Egan also won with 23,590 votes.
“It is very gratifying to know that peo-
ple approve your work. In the next two
years, the focus will be on the energy sec-
tor and improving the infrastructure
based on the bitter experiences from
super storm Sandy,” Chivukula said.
“Persuading more people to use renew-
able energy will be another area to
He added that he also planned to bring
a legislation to make changes in the edu-
cation sector, especially unifying school
boards on a county basis. Currently there
are several school boards in the same
county, duplicating the work and
In the last decade, Chivukula said the
cost of living had gone up. “There is less disposable income
with the people. As far as the property tax, nothing much as
changed. Though the state imposed caps for raising taxes,
there are exceptions too, which towns and counties use
freely,” he added.
Chivukula said he was happy that Raj Mukherji won an
assembly seat. “He is a very bright young man. I look for-
ward to work with him,” he said. “I am delighted at the
increasing political engagement of Indian-Americans
which was evident in the election and I encourage more
people to get involved. It is also gratifying to see Indian-
Americans gain recognition from candidates, elected rep-
resentatives and operatives as they emerge
as a factor in the political process.”
As one who faced the electorate several
times, his advice for newcomers is to focus
and build relationships; set up a good organ-
ization and understand the process well.
Chivukula’s engagement with politics
began nearly three decades ago when he
became a member of the Democratic Party.
He was elected County Committeeman in
1992 and to the Franklin Township Council
in 1997. He became Deputy Mayor in 1998
and Mayor of Franklin in 2000.
In 2001, he was elected to the New Jersey
assembly for the first time.
An electrical engineer by profession, he
chairs the Assembly Telecom and Utilities
Committee which oversees the state’s power
generation and utility companies including
entities that supply electricity and natural
‘I came to America with hope in my heart.
I came to pursue a higher education and
empowered by the dream of fulfilling a higher purpose — public service. Here, I met my
incredible wife Dayci and we had two wonderful children, Suraj and Damianty. I am
grateful for my loving family and their support,’ Chivukula said.
‘As I look back, many dreams have become a reality.
Many, still remain. I look to the future with renewed hope
in my heart — to be able to use the privilege of leadership
to continue to empower the people I serve.
Kshama Sawant, a 'Socialist Alternative' candidate, seemed to have unseated four-term incumbent Richard Conlin in the Seattle City
Council elections. The latest batch of
mail-in ballots at press time had nearly
tripled Sawant's lead to 1,148 votes.
"We are up by 407 votes, which is
49.99 percent of the votes counted.
There are still about 20,000 votes to be
counted," Sawant told India Abroad
before the batch of mail-in ballots came
The counting would go on till
November 25 or 26, she said.
On election night November 5, she was
pushed to second place with 46.1 percent
votes and most people thought she
would trail behind Conlin. Since then
Sawant steadily increased her share of
She said her lead proved that there was
a deep hunger among people for political
change, not just in Seattle but also everywhere in the United States.
Officials estimated that there were
An ethnic slur by former state Representative Peter Silva against Latha Mangipudimighthaveback-fired in the November 5 election, which
sent the Mysore native to the New
Hampshire State House.
After Mangipudi won the Democratic
primary in September for the Ward 8 con-
stituency, Silva, a Republican, had referred
to the large turnout of Indian voters and
said, ‘I thought I was in New Delhi.’
He clarified later that his comments had
been aimed at rallying Republicans to take
the election seriously.
Whatever his intentions, he lost in the
special election to Mangipudi who got 862
votes against his 598 votes.
Silva represented the ward for four years,
when he lost it last year. The winning
Socialist Kshama Sawant set to stun Seattle Latha Mangipudi wins
New Jersey Assembly election:
Upendra Chivukula wins 7th consecutive term
Upendra Chivukula, right, with Joseph Egan, left, and State Senator Bob Smith.