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Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul Wins Second Term, as Do Several Other Indian Americans in Judicial Races

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul Wins Second Term, as Do Several Other Indian Americans in Judicial Races

  • Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill is poised to win a fourth term, while in Texas, several of them won their election bids.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul has defeated Eric Toney to win a second term as the state’s top lawyer. With 99 percent of the unofficial results in, Kaul led by about 4,000 votes, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As Attorney General, he will be responsible for “overseeing high-profile challenges to federal and state laws and implementing the way the state handles the 1849 law that bans most abortions,” the Journal report said. 

Toney conceded to Kaul early on Nov. 9. “The race between Kaul and Toney was largely focused on disagreements about how to enforce the state’s abortion ban and how to handle high rates of crime, especially in Milwaukee,” the Journal quoted him as saying. 

“I’m grateful that Wisconsinites have put their trust in me to serve as Attorney General for another four years, and I look forward to the work ahead of us as we continue to deliver results and work to build safer and stronger communities across the state,” Kaul said in a statement.

Kaul, 41, is the son of Raj Kaul and former attorney general Peg Lautenschlager. His stepfather, Bill Rippl, worked as a police officer. He received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and earned his law degree from Stanford University. Kaul was in private practice from 2007 until 2010 when he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. In 2014, he moved back to Wisconsin and joined a Madison firm. He and his wife Lindsey are parents of two boys, Simon and Henry.

Sim Gill

In Utah, Democratic incumbent Sim Gill was poised to win a fourth term as Salt Lake County District Attorney, The Salt Lake Tribune reported, citing unofficial returns. Preliminary results had Gill with nearly 58 percent of the vote, far ahead of Republican challenger and political newcomer, Danielle Ahn, with 42 percent. 

“We have always believed that therapeutic justice, mental health court, drug court, diversion programs who can help those who are in most in need — we can do it without compromising public safety,” The Salt Lake Tribune quoted Gill saying at the Utah Democratic Party’s election night party. “But if you’re a risk to our community,” the three-term incumbent continued, “we will aggressively prosecute you, incarcerate you and hold you accountable.”

A veteran public prosecutor, Gill was elected Salt Lake County District Attorney in November 2010. His website describes him as “a champion on issues of therapeutic justice, criminal prosecution and alternatives to prosecution.” He has collaborated on the creation and implementation of various therapeutic justice programs including Mental Health Court, Salt Lake City Domestic Violence Court, Misdemeanor Drug Court, Veterans Court, and the Salt Lake Area Family Justice Center. He graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. degree in History and Philosophy. He received his J. D. degree and certificate of specialization in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Judge Juli Mathew

Meanwhile in Texas, which had the most Indian Americans running for judicial positions, Fort Bend County judge K.P. George, Judge Juli Mathew, Number 3 judge of the Fort Bend County Court at Law, and Sonia Rash, Precinct 3 judge of the Fort Bend County Justice of the Peace in Texas, all Democrats, won their re-election bids.

In Harris County, Manpreet Monica Singh won her election for judge of the Harris County Civil County Court at Law No. 4, making her the first Sikh American woman elected to a court in the state.” A million thanks to everyone for talking about my campaign with your fam and friends, bringing me to your church, volunteering to block walk, phonebank, or help out at the polls,” she wrote on Facebook. 

Manpreet Monica Singh

The Houston-born-and-raised Singh has been practicing law for 20 years. She heavily involved in numerous civil rights organizations at a local, state, and national level. She lives in Bellaire with her husband Mandeep and their two soccer-loving boys that attend Bellaire High School.

However, Surendran K. Patel is locked in a tight race with Republican Edward M. Krenek for the position of Court Judge, 240th Judicial District Fort Bend County, with barely a few hundred votes separating the two. 

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Mathew is the first Indian American woman elected to the bench in the U.S., and the first Asian American Judge in Fort Bend County. On her social media, she thanked her supporters for being selected “to serve the citizens of Fort Bend County for one more term. I’m grateful for every supporter, prayer warrior, and voter during this journey,” she said in a Facebook post. “However, it is bittersweet this morning. Many qualified and outstanding candidates and colleagues that I know made huge sacrifices to run and some have not obtained the office they were seeking while others are still awaiting results. Thank you for standing up to accept the call of public service and your work and time is always remembered and honored.”

K.P. George

K.P. George took to social media as well. “I am honored to have been re-elected as the Fort Bend County Judge to keep moving #FortBendForward,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “It is because of you – our grassroots volunteers, working people, our campaign team, and the voters of our diverse community – that we can continue to keep Fort Bend County the #1 place in America to raise our families.” He promised to “continue to lead our communities with the values of compassion, common sense, and unity, and we will accomplish even more in the next four years because we will do it together — united and stronger.”

Sonia Rash

Sonia Rash, a native Houstonian edged past her opponent Justin M. Joyce with 31,113 votes compared to 27,027. “We did it,” she posted on Facebook. “The dream has become reality.” She said her win wouldn’t be possible without her supporters. “This was a team effort with people on the frontline and behind the scenes. This win is for all the people that work hard every day, even when the odds are against you. This win is for the naysayers that pushed hard against you, so you worked harder. This win is for anyone that says you can’t because you know you can!”

Her website notes that Rash, who has “a passion for helping the underdog,” began her law career as an associate with The Hall Law Firm “where she dedicated herself to working for civil rights, personal injury, and complex litigation.” 

Surendran K. Patel

Last month, Mathew had her campaign signs stolen and vandalized, as did George and Pattel. Speaking to American Kahani a few days after the incident, Mathew said the” sign destruction” for “unfortunate.” But at the same time, she said she’s aware that “there are going to be people who are not going to be fair, who don’t have the integrity needed to face all those obstacles that are common when you run for office.” Although she was “disheartened” to see it, she says that’s not going to stop me or anyone else from trying to do what we need to do to win again in 2022.”

Like Mathew, Patel told American Kahani that he finds the situation not only “distressing, but “depressing and disheartening” as well. “As an immigrant American, I guess I had expected better from my fellow citizens.” Noting that those targeted are Democrats and are “easily identified as representing minorities, he informed that the prosecutor’s office is investigating, “and has stressed that vandalism of this nature — that is, defacing political signs — is indeed a crime.”

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