An Indian-American attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia, has begun planning a run for the State House and has already garnered some significant endorsements from state Democrats.
Sachin Varghese, 35, has filed the necessary papers for a run for the George State House from District 89. Whether he becomes a contender depends on the current incumbent choosing to run for higher office. House Minority Leader and State Representative Stacey Abrams, is according to news reports, expected to enter the gubernatorial race, and may make an announcement to that effect over the next month.
A graduate of the University of Georgia, with a law degree from UG Law School, Varghese has worked on issues which he is passionate about, he told News India Times. He already has a campaign manager and advisors, as well as a website sachinforgeorgia.com. Several volunteers including some Indian-Americans want to work on his campaign, and he expects more high profile endorsements, in the near future.
Varghese represented the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, and others, working with civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis, D-Georgia; State Rep. Abrams, and State Senator Elena Parent in challenging redistricting in 2011.
“Sachin will be a strong advocate for District 89 and all Georgians, and that’s why I’m supporting his candidacy if Leader Abrams seeks another office,” Rep. Holcomb is quoted saying in a press release from Varghese’s campaign. “I’ve known him for a long time. He’s smart, has common sense, and works really hard. He will do a terrific job representing his community at the Gold Dome and I encourage everyone to support him.”
“I was Chairman of the Black Caucus when Sachin represented us, and I witnessed first-hand his commitment to fighting injustice,” said Sen. Emanuel Jones. “He will be a passionate and able advocate for DeKalb residents at the Capitol and that is why I wholeheartedly support him should Leader Abrams offer herself for higher office.”
District 89 is a safe Democratic district that Abrams has represented for 12 years. If she leaves office, the Governor will have to call a special election to fill the remainder of her term. The winner has to get more than 50 percent of the vote, or the two top vote-getters go into a runoff election.
While Varghese is currently the only candidate who has declared his intent, it’s entirely possible he may face one or more opponents. The Democratic primary is scheduled for May 2018. So Varghese has a few hoops to jump.
He told News India Times estimates the race for the 89th District seat could cost upward of $200,000. “We have already raised $65,000 in the first three days ,” Varghese said.
He is reluctant to describe himself as a “political activist.”
“I have worked on issues I am passionate about through my profession,” he said. “One of the reasons I am running is because I want to be able to fight for all those issues — such as against discrimination and for criminal justice reform, at the state level,” he added.
Reflecting on his own journey, coming to this country as a child, being fortunate to have lived the American Dream, Varghese said, “One of the primary drivers of why I am running is I don’t think we do a good enough job of providing opportunities to large segments of our population. I hope to do that,” Varghese said.
Varghese was born in Mavelikara, Kerala, and came with his mother when he was one and a half years old. His father joined them later, studied engineering, and ended up working at the Atlanta Department of Watershed Management. Varghese was brought up largely in Norcross, Georgia, attending public schools. For the last 9 years, he has been living in Atlanta. Apart from his law degree, Varghese also has a Masters in Public Administration. He is also a cancer survivor. Varghese is married to Serene. The couple has two children, Dahlia and Omar.