- The 38-year-old Indian-Tibetan American is running for post of Cincinnati mayor.
The AAPI Victory Fund has endorsed Aftab Pureval of Ohio as part of its inaugural Rising Star endorsements. Pureval, a Hamilton County Clerk of Court, is running for Mayor of Cincinnati. Also endorsed is Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu. “It is more important than ever for diverse leadership across local, state and federal governments, and these candidates will bring their unique voices and experiences to lead large metropolitan areas,” says the Political Action Committee that focuses on mobilizing Asian American and Pacific Islanders eligible voters.
AAPI says Pureval, 38, is “a necessary progressive voice that has been able to achieve success with Democrats and Republicans alike.” As the son of first generation Americans, Pureval has spent his career defending the most vulnerable in his community, including with the FBI to prosecute crimes against children.
“We are proud to endorse Michelle Wu for mayor of Boston and Aftab Pureval for mayor of Cincinnati,” said Varun Nikore, president of AAPI Victory Fund. “AAPIs have rarely been visible in city government, and it is time that our voices are heard and represented at the Mayoral level. Michelle and Aftab have immense experience leading in their communities, and lending their expertise and platforms to help families. This has become even more critical as anti-Asian hate has run rampant over the course of the pandemic. We are confident that with Michelle and Aftab as mayors, Boston and Cincinnati will become more inclusive and equitable, and take their communities to new heights.”
When Pureval was elected in 2016 as the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, he became the first Democrat elected to this position in more than a century. He won a second term as clerk of courts in November.
In previous interviews the Dayton, Ohio native has said that his name “reflects my multicultural upbringing” and jokes that he has “this kind of amorphous ethnicity.” He is both Indian-American and Tibetan-American: his late father was from India and his mother from Tibet.
In 2018, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Congress against entrenched GOP incumbent Rep. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District.
Pureval has worked in both the private and public sector, first at Proctor & Gamble as its global brand attorney for Olay, before becoming a special assistant federal prosecutor where he worked in concert with the FBI to prosecute crimes against children. At Ohio State University, he was student body president and at UC, he was an editor of the Law Review and worked in the Domestic Violence Clinic representing women who were victims of violence.
Following law school, Pureval moved to Washington, D.C., to join White & Case LLP, one of the largest law firms in the country. He was an antitrust litigator, but then, wanting “to come home and serve his community,” he returned to Hamilton County where he worked as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Department of Justice. As a federal prosecutor, Pureval worked with the FBI, Secret Service, and other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute felonies involving guns, crimes against children, and white-collar crimes. Before his election as clerk of courts, he had a stint as in-house counsel at Procter & Gamble.
He serves on the boards of various community organizations, including Cincinnati Union Bethel and the Women’s Fund, and his experience in business and management has earned him numerous honors and awards, including recognition in the Cincinnati Business Courier’s 40 Under 40.