- The incumbent was first elected to the Morrisville Town Council in 2011, becoming the first and longest-serving Indian American in the Triangle region.
Morrisville Town Councilman Steve S. Rao, a Democrat, the first and longest-serving Indian American elected official in North Carolina, has won his re-election bid for a fourth term. Rao beat his opponent, James (Jim) Semmens, by a significant margin — 62.41 percent to 37.19 percent.
“My family and I are so very grateful to each of you for providing me the opportunity to serve the citizens of Morrisville, an All America City for four more years,” Rao wrote in a Facebook post. “It has been my honor to serve the citizens of Morrisville for the past decade and I look forward to beginning my new decade of service when I am sworn into my fourth term,” he continued. He vowed to “continue to invest in our future, focus on growing innovation and will continue to lead the Town of Morrisville to be the “Smartest City” in the state and nation.
The incumbent was first elected to the Morrisville Town Council in 2011, becoming the first Indian American elected official in Wake County and the Triangle region and the first one re-elected in 2013. He has served as Mayor Pro Tem from 2015- 2017.
During his years in office, Rao has led efforts to start a growing Entrepreneurship Program in Morrisville, and English as a Second Language class, his press release says. He has also worked aggressively with the NC Dept of Transportation and Council to bring over $300 million of transportation investment to Morrisville in the next 10 years.
As co-chair of the Technology Subcommittee, he has spearheaded the Town of Morrisville Smart City and Open Data Initiatives and is working with market-leading companies, like Microsoft, Cisco, and IBM on the Smart Triangle Strategy. He is also working on plans for an Innovation District and Technology Incubator in Morrisville with the goal of making Morrisville the Number One Destination for Tech and Life Science Companies in the State.
Rao also serves as a Board Member for the New American Economy, a bipartisan coalition of Mayors and Business Leaders focused on Comprehensive Immigration Reform; the NAE Chairman is Mike Bloomberg. He also serves on the North Carolina Veterans Business Association Board.
Additionally, he hosts a radio show, “Leaders and Legends,” on Radio Nyra, the region’s first South Asian Radio station, which airs every Sunday afternoon. He is also a political commentator on “Get with the Program” with Gary Jones. He serves as a political analyst on PBS Carolina 4 on the Black Issues Forum.
Rao received a BA from Emory University in Political Science where he played collegiate tennis and a JD from the West Virginia University College of Law. He resides in Morrisville with his wife. Dr. Komal Parekh and children Sonia and Ryan.