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Indian American in race for Texas county treasurer's post

March 02, 2010 23:37 IST

K P George, a financial planner and money manager, is contesting as the treasurer of Fortbend County, a suburb in Houston, Texas. Though he faces no opponents in the Democratic primary, the fight in November will not be easy in the predominantly Republican area.

He is not unduly worried. The demography is changing fast. Currently, almost 17 per cent of the population is Asian and the number of Indian families in the area could be about 12,000, he said. The three towns with Indians in the city council, Sugarland, Stafford and Missouri City, are in this county.

George, who works in grassroot organisations and also in the Sugarland Rotary Club and the Fortbend Chamber of Commerce, says he is qualified to run the post with fiscal responsibility.

"I am running for the position of county treasurer because of my passion for people -- for bringing out the best in people, all people and my commitment to helping people find their voice," he said. "It is that same passion and commitment that led me to serve numerous community organisations and some charitable organisations."

The treasurer is a constitutional officer because the office is expressly established by the constitution of Texas. The treasurer ensures that local funds will be collected, invested and spent by an officer who reports directly to the people.

Neeta Sane, currently a trustee of the Houston Community College, contested as treasurer in 2006. She could not win, but received a sizeable number of votes as a Democrat.

The office of the treasurer overseas the country's financial dealings and its $250-million budget. It makes sure that all the money is utilised legally and properly. It is a paid, full-time post for four years.

"As treasurer, I pledge to lead by opening the doors of the Treasurer's Office to the community for greater inclusion and collaboration in all fiscal matters," George said, "and ensuring an environment where we value the collection, investment and spending of your money in a manner that is responsive to community needs, cost-efficient and effective in ensuring an even better Fort Bend County for everyone."

He said he is a Democrat, because the party "values the immigrant population as an integral part of the community and continues to stand by this growing population."

First Published In India Abroad A Rediff Publication

"I believe living in this country is a dream come true for me," said George, who was born in a remote Kerala village and who came to the United States in 1993.

"I am so thankful to God for giving me an opportunity to come to this beautiful nation of ours and live the American dream. I still remember those days, living in a straw house and going though all those tough times, but I always had a dream about achieving success," said George.

He started his own charity work seven years ago using his own money. His wife Sheeba is a teacher. They have three children.

George Joseph