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Indian American to contest Orange County poll

By George Joseph in New York
March 25, 2009 09:14 IST
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Two-term Anaheim, California City Council member Harry Sidhu has announced his candidacy for Orange County Supervisor from the 4th District.

The five-member Board of Supervisors oversee the management of the county government and many special districts. The board has legislative and executive powers. The supervisors are elected to four-year terms. The county is the second largest in California and the eighth largest in the United States.

Supervisor Chris Norby, the incumbent from 4th District, is termed out in 2010. Though it is an open seat, few leaders have expressed their interest to contest in the election, Siddhu said.

They include Tom Daly, Orange County Clerk-Recorder (Democratic), and Shawn Nelson, Fullerton City Council Member (Republican). Siddhu is also a Republican.

With his many achievements at the city council, Sdhhu had contested for the State Senate last year. Though he attracted much attention and many votes, he did not make it in the primary.

Currently, there are approximately 269,529 registered voters in the 4th District, as per Orange County Registrar of Voters data. "The competition will be spirited. Yet, I am extremely optimistic that with supporters such as Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle and many others, a winning team and coalition will once again be formed," he said.

Anticipated campaign costs would be in the $250,000 to $500,000 range, generally, he said. He plans to organize several fund raisers. "A vigorous fundraising campaign would be undertaken among Indo-American, business and community supporters," he said.

It is not personal power or glory that drives him for the contest but the chance to serve all, regionally, and get things done, he clarified.

"I am seeking to serve through a regional leadership position on the Orange County Board of Supervisors," he explained, because the taxpayers deserve a strong, problem- solving voice on the Board.

Sidhu was elected as the first Indo-American to serve on the Anaheim City Council in 2004 and was re-elected by a significant margin in November 2008.

Sidhu is recognized as a strong conservative leader who stands for fiscal responsibility, accountability to the taxpayers, fairness in economic development, and transparency in government. 

He represents a true rags-to-riches story. He arrived in the US 34 years ago as a 17-year-old without knowing a 'word of English'. He fought life's battles valiantly to fulfil the 'American Dream'.

"We arrived in Philadelphia. I went to community college and worked nights at fast food chains cleaning toilets and doing other jobs. My father used to say that honesty and hard work will change things," Sidhu, who later became a mechanical engineer, said.

He worked with several companies before staring his own business. At one time he operated 28 fast food outlets.

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George Joseph in New York