- If elected in November, she becomes first woman of color to serve as a state-wide executive.
A Bangladeshi American woman has won the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania auditor general. Nina Ahmad, a former Philadelphia deputy mayor, prevailed over five other contenders in the elections held on June 11.
Ahmad becomes the first immigrant and person of color ever to be nominated by Democrats for statewide executive office in the state.
She will now face Timothy DeFoor in the general election. DeFoor ran unopposed in the Republican primary. If elected in November, Ahmad would be the first woman of color to serve as a state-wide executive in the Commonwealth’s 233-year history.
Most recently, Ahmad served as a deputy mayor for Public Engagement under Philadelphia Mayor James Francis Kenney. She also served as a member of the National Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the Obama administration.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Ahmad finished second in the 2018 primary for lieutenant governor. According to the report, she and her husband, real estate developer Ahsan Nasratullah, “had spent more than $1 million in those races combined.” Ahmad told the paper that both she and her husband “believe it’s important to elect women to state-wide offices.”
A press release issued by Ahmad’s team says she won southeastern Pennsylvania by a large margin in the primary. She has “vowed to work closely with her former opponents” and reach out to voters in all regions of the state.
“I’m looking forward to hitting the campaign trail with Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and State Treasurer Joe Torsella,” she said. “I know that, together, we can deliver the change Pennsylvanians want.
Some of the issues she will address include rebuilding the economy, boosting small businesses, benefitting working and middle-class families, as well as “stamping out” sexual harassment and discrimination in state government, and changing the culture in Harrisburg.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Ahmad edged past Pittsburgh city controller, Michael Lamb, who “finished second in the race despite landing the endorsement of Ahmad’s ex-boss, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.”
Others in the race included Rep. Scott Conklin (D-Penn.),CPA Rose Davis, Dauphin County Bureau Director Tracie Fountain and former Congressional hopeful Christina Hartman.
According to her website, Ahmad ran on a platform of “using the office of auditor general as a tool for change, transparency, and accountability.”
Ahmad came to the United States alone at age 21. She waitressed and worked other minimum wage jobs before earning a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, and later worked as a medical scientist at Wills Eye Hospital and Thomas Jefferson Medical College.
She and her husband live in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia where they raised two daughters, Priya and Joya.