Kevin Thomas becomes first Indian American in New York Senate

Kevin Thomas (Courtesy: Facebook)

Democrat Kevin Thomas has become the first Indian American to be elected to the New York Senate, from New York’s 6th district.

Thomas is an attorney and an appointee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to the New York State Advisory Committee.

Thomas’ top priorities, according to his campaign website, are education; women’s rights – as he supports the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, healthcare – in which he supports the Safe Staffing for Hospitals Act as well as the NY Health Act; fighting the opioid crisis; taxes; infrastructure; protecting the working class with the passing the Public Works Definition Act and Protecting the Prevailing Wage; gun control; immigration; protecting environment; civil rights and consumer protection.

Kevin Thomas speaking at the Hicksville Civic Association Meet the Candidates forum. (Courtesy: Facebook)

On his campaign website, Thomas explains his reasoning and approach to solving issues as a Senator.

Some of the issues he emphasizes on are ongoing while others have been brought up again and again through recent events such as immigration, gun control, the opioid epidemic and healthcare.

This is what he had to say about immigration: “As an Indian American who first emigrated to the United States as a 10-year-old, I believe every American immigrant should have the same opportunities I had. Under the current federal administration, it has never been more important to protect the rights of immigrants and ensure that all New Yorkers can pursue the promise of the American dream.”

Kevin Thomas campaigning with other Indian Americans.

He added: “For me, this is personal and as a State Senator, I will fight to pass the NY Liberty Act, which would protect our community from the repressive immigration enforcement and prevent cooperation between our state agencies and ICE, as well as pass the NY Dream Act, which would allow every New Yorker to get a quality college education, regardless of citizenship status.”

With the recent shootings that occurred in Pennsylvania and California, Thomas said that he is going to “support a bump-stock ban, which would prevent ordinary guns from being transformed into weapons capable of mass murder,” as well as the “passage of the Red Flag Law, which would allow police and family to petition state courts to remove firearms from persons who present a danger to others or themselves.”

He also plans to strengthen the SAFE Act, which is New York’s landmark gun control legislation that requires universal background checks, imposes tougher assault weapon bans and creates a statewide ammunitions registry.

Kevin Thomas with Ravinder Singh Bhalla, Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey. (Courtesy: Facebook)

Thomas also mentions how he is concerned about the opioid epidemic in the country as “the number of opioid deaths in Long Island has skyrocketed.”

“I will ensure that not one more life is lost due to a preventable overdose. As a State Senator, I will hold companies and doctors who over prescribe opioids responsible for their role in this epidemic,” he states on his campaign website. “I also support imposing a tax on opioid manufacturers in New York state and using the proceeds from such a tax to expand treatment centers in our community.”

Thomas adds that he supports single-payer, universal health coverage as he has “seen firsthand, how the rising cost of medical care has wreaked havoc on the lives of my friends and neighbors in District 6.”

Kevin Thomas at the civic rights parade. (Courtesy: Facebook)

As an attorney, Thomas has worked to bring justice to those who could not stand up for themselves.

He currently lives in Levittown with his wife, Rincy, who is a pharmacist, and their dog, Sirius.

While Thomas won the Senate seat in New York, Mudita ‘Dita’ Bhargava, lost the seat for State Treasurer in Connecticut.

Kevin Thomas with his wife Rincy. (Courtesy: Facebook)

Many other Indian Americans also won and lost their local elections in New Jersey, these include:

  • Abhishake Shah – Board of Education – Carlstadt – WON
  • Chakib Fakhoury – Board of Education – Elmwood Park – LOST
  • Behrooz Pasdar – Board of Education – Emerson – WON
  • Horace H. Ragbir – Mayor – Englewood – LOST
  • Shanna S. Jafri – Board of Education – Englewood Cliffs – WON
  • Pratima Roy – Board of Education – Fort Lee – LOST
  • Thomas Rukaj – Ramapo Indian Hills Regional HS – Franklin Lakes – WON
  • Ghanshyam C. Vaghasla – Northern Valley Regional HS District – Norwood – WON
  • Rahul C. Vaghasia – Board of Education – Norwood – LOST
  • Shelly Ahmed – Board of Education – Rutherford – WON
  • Venugopal Menon – Council – Tenafly – WON
  • Shreekant Dhopte – Township Committee – Chesterfield Township – LOST
  • Jignesh Shah – Township Committee – Chesterfield Township – LOST
  • Samir J. Patel – School Board – Hainesport Township – WON
  • Sanjay Sharma – School Board – Cherry Hill – LOST
  • Satwik Seshasai – School Board – Haddonfield – LOST
  • Mayur R. Chheda – School Board – Voorhees – WON
  • Vicki Walia – Board of Education – Millburn – LOST
  • Mussab Ali – City Public School Board – Jersey City – WON
  • Vidya Gangadin – City Public School Board – Jersey City – LOST
  • Asmaa Abdalla – City Public School Board – Jersey City – LOST
  • Paymon Jelvani – Kingwood Township School – Kingwood Township – WON
  • Shanti Narra – Freeholder – Middlesex County – WON
  • J. Johal – Borough Council – Carteret – WON
  • Jasbir Judge – Board of Education – Carteret – WON
  • Tanbir Dulku – Board of Education – Carteret – LOST
  • Dharmendra “Dhar” Khona – Township Council – East Brunswick – LOST
  • Dharmeshkumar J. Patel – Board of Education – East Brunswick – LOST
  • Harish Verma – Board of Education – Edison – LOST
  • Shivi Prasad-Madhukar – Board of Education – Edison – LOST
  • Anand “Andy” Paluri – Board of Education – Monroe – WON
  • Rupa Siegel – Board of Education – Monroe – WON
  • Krishna Tekale – Board of Education – Monroe – LOST
  • Milady Tejada – City Council at-large – Perth Amboy – WON
  • Nitang B. Patel – Board of Education – Piscataway – WON
  • Prasannakumar Padinhareveeti – West-Windsor Plainsboro Regional Board of Education – Plainsboro – LOST
  • Bhumi Patel – Board of Education – Sayreville – LOST
  • Archana “Ann” Grover – Township Council – South Brunswick – WON
  • Magesh Kamalakannan – Board of Education – South Brunswick – LOST
  • Anita Chadha – Board of Education – South River – LOST
  • Jenan Agnihotri – Township Committee Seat – Freehold Township –
  • Rakesh Chandwani – Marlboro Township Board of Education Seat – Marlboro Township – LOST
  • Shalini Gagliardi – Clerk – Morris County – LOST
  • Waqar Khokhar – Alderman Ward 1 – Boonton Town – LOST
  • Saima Hashmi – Alderman Ward 2 – Boonton Town – LOST
  • Lata Kenney – School Dist. of the Chathams – Chatham Township – WON
  • Rajat Shah – Borough Public School Board – Chester Borough – WON
  • Naipaul Rambaran – Borough Council – Kinnelon – LOST
  • Robert Roy – Borough Council – Kinnelon – WON
  • Aadithya Thayyar – Township Public School Board – Mendham Township – WON
  • Vij Pawar – Morris Public School Dist. BD – Morristown – WON
  • Robert A. Soni – Township Public School Board – Randolph – WON
  • Dave Desai – Borough Council – Riverdale – WON
  • Assad Akhter – Freeholder – Passaic County – WON
  • Salim Y. Patel – City Council at-large – City of Passaic – WON
  • Ashish “AJ” Joshi – Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District – Bridgewater Township – WON
  • Kamran Quraishi – Township Committee – Montgomery Township – LOST
  • Keith Balla – Mayor – Watchung Borough – WON
  • Anjali Mehrotra – Borough Council – Mountainside – LOST
  • Rupa Kale – Councilman – New Providence – LOST
  • Roshan M. White – Township Council – Scotch Plains – WON
  • Sonali Dalvi – Township Council – Scotch Plains – LOST
  • David Naidu – 1st Ward Councilman – Summit – WON
  • Anita Smith – Board of Education – Washington Township – WON
  • Chanda Collom – Township Committee – White Township – WON


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here