The responses to these questions were edited for length and clarity by the Georgia Decides team. Each candidate was allotted 150 words for each answer and some answers were trimmed in order to abide by that length requirement. Other edits were made to make sure readers can fully follow and understand the candidate responses.
Campaigning for: State House District 50
How does your background equip you for the job you are seeking?
I am a first generation immigrant who came to this country for a better life. Within a few years of moving to America, I earned a Master in Business Administration degree and started my own business. This would never have been possible in my home country of India. I’ve been in business now for over 35 years, and have seen my two daughters become medical doctors and achieve their American dream. I have also been appointed by the last three governor’s to serve on the board of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, where we have addressed infrastructure matters for the state. Now, I want to take my experience and passion for education to the state Legislature to help the citizens of Johns Creek.
What role should government have in the lives of Georgians? How would you apply that philosophy to the job you are seeking?
The government’s primary responsibility is keeping its citizens safe from harm and ensuring our students have a world-class education. As a businessman, I will work to make sure it’s easier, not harder, to own and operate a business in Georgia. I want to protect our status as the No. 1 place for doing business. And I want to encourage more investment in public education so that our students are equipped to fill the good, high paying jobs of the 21st century.
If you are elected (or re-elected), what problems will you spend the most time solving and why?
My main priorities will be focused around investments in public education and public safety. The pandemic school closures have proven to be harmful to many of our students and we cannot afford to leave them behind. We must also address rising crime rates and make sure Johns Creek remains a safe place for families.
Georgia is a politically diverse state. How will you work to represent Georgians whose political views differ from your own?
I have been an active leader in the Indian-American community for decades where I have worked hand in hand with immigrants like myself who have differing views on politics and policy. I will bring that experience to the state capitol and I will always keep an open mind when discussing policy matters, even with those who disagree with me.
Who has been the biggest influence on how you view state government and politics? What have you learned from this person?
I have great respect for former Gov. Nathan Deal and the way he led Georgia out of the recession. His leadership put us on a path to the success we are experiencing today. He was never afraid to work across the aisle when needed, while standing firm on his principles.
Georgia has a lot to offer current and potential residents, but many parts of the state are becoming increasingly unaffordable. Please explain your proposed approach to address housing affordability through legislation and executive actions?
The legislature should make sure that we keep costs for families as low as possible. That starts with responsible spending and keeping taxes low. We have seen in recent years that Georgia can cut taxes while still providing historic investments in education, increasing pay for teachers and police officers, and sending tax rebates back to taxpayers. As a fiscal conservative I believe citizens are best equipped to decide how they spend their own money rather than giving more to the government.
Politics is often about compromise. How do you decide when to compromise and take small, incremental wins, and when to refuse compromise?
I will never compromise when it comes to making our community safer or ensuring our kids have a great education. I am willing to listen and work with anyone from either party who shares those priorities.
There were politicians who questioned the outcomes of Georgia elections in 2018 and 2020. Do you think Georgia’s elections are secure and will you stand by the results?
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, state law and local enforcement authority will determine access to abortion.
I will oppose efforts by Democrats who want to allow abortion up until the moment of birth. This radical policy position is out of touch and out of line with how most Georgians feel about this issue. Georgia’s heartbeat bill currently allows exceptions for abortion in the cases of rape, incest, life of the mother, or fetal abnormality. I will support that policy as state representative.
Are there any programs/legislation you’ve sponsored or created to help people with disabilities?
If elected I look forward to making sure those with disabilities have every resource available to them in order to thrive.
Georgia closed out its budget year with a “likely record surplus, billions of dollars in federal aid and a growing economy.” Georgia spends more than half of this money on education and health care. What would you want to see in the budget in terms of spending or taxes?
I hope to see more investments in our public education budget so that teachers have every resource available to them in order to provide our kids with a world-class education.
The Legislature often votes along party lines. When would you seek bipartisan action and what issues merit such consensus?
While Democrats have refused to work across the aisle on most major legislation in Georgia I applaud their willingness to work with Republicans for the passage of the Mental Health Parity Act that will hopefully transform mental healthcare in our state. I look forward to their same willingness on other issues that have real impacts on Georgians.