Indian American Darshana Patel Announces Bid for California’s 76th Assembly District
- The longtime trustee of the Poway Unified School District has received an early endorsement from Congressman Ro Khanna.
Indian American Darshana Patel, a longtime trustee of the Poway Unified School District in California, is running for the 76th Assembly District in 2024. The Democrat is seeking the North County seat that will be vacated after 2024 by Brian Maienschein, who is termed out. Her campaign has received a boost with an early endorsement from Congressman Ro Khanna, according to her website.
The daughter of immigrants from India, Patel moved to the U.S. when she was a teen. “As the daughter of immigrants who struggled to realize the American Dream, I know the challenges that families can face during hard times,” she said in her campaign announcement. “If not for great public school teachers and college scholarships I would not be where I am today.”
She said she is 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 a civic leader to make a difference in their lives.”
Patel was elected to the Poway Unified board “when the district was struggling because of financial mismanagement and criminal embezzlement and helped to restore fiscal responsibility,” her website says. She was reelected in 2020.
In addition to her work on the school board, Patel serves on the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs and as president of the San Diego County School Boards Association.
After losing her mother suddenly at age 14, “Patel was drawn to the medical and health research fields, according to her website.” She earned a B.A. in Biochemistry at Occidental College and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of California, Irvine. She lives with her husband and their three daughters in San Diego.