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  • Writer's pictureBill Wong


Source: Dr. Darshana Patel for Assembly

San Diego, CA – The California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus has announced their endorsement for Dr. Darshana Patel for State Assembly. Dr. Patel, a Democrat, is a candidate for Assembly District 76.

Assemblymember Evan Low, who serves as Chair of the California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, released the following statement announcing the endorsement:

"Dr. Darshana Patel brings a fresh perspective and deep understanding of the issues that are critical to our state. Her unique combination of scientific knowledge, community advocacy, and policy expertise will serve her constituents well in the Assembly. It's with great enthusiasm that the California AAPI Legislative Caucus endorses Dr. Patel for State Assembly."

The AD-76 election will be an open-seat contest, as incumbent Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D) is term limited. Assembly District 76 includes the cities of Escondido and San Marcos, portions of San Diego, and numerous unincorporated communities in San Diego County. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in AD-76 by a 7% margin, and President Biden defeated Donald Trump in AD-76 by 16% margin in 2020.

The California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus represents and advocates for the interests of the diverse API communities throughout California. Its members include State Senators Dave Min and Aisha Wahab and Assemblymembers Evan Low, Mike Fong, Ash Kalra, Alex Lee, Al Muratsuchi, Phil Ting, Jasmeet Bains, and Stephanie Nguyen. It seeks to increase Asian Pacific Islander participation and representation in all levels of government. Amongst its goals, the Caucus seeks to: Increase API representation in all levels of government, including statewide appointments and statewide elected offices; Ensure the API community has equal access to education, social services, health, mental health, and other government programs and services; Preserve safety net health, mental health, and social service programs that serve the API community; Ensure language access and culturally competent services in government programs; Strengthen protections against hate crimes and defend the civil rights and liberties of APIs; Fight racial stereotypes and negative portrayals of APIs in the media; Promote greater civic participation and knowledge about major policy issues among API communities; Build common interest and communications among the various API communities.

Dr. Darshana Patel is a research scientist, School Board President, mom, community leader, and lifelong Democrat.

Darshana is the daughter of immigrants who moved to California when she was a teen. After losing her mother suddenly at age 14, Darshana was drawn to the medical and health research fields. Darshana earned a B.A. in Biochemistry at Occidental College and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of California, Irvine. Following a successful career in biotechnology research, Darshana worked to find other ways to give back to her community.

In 2016, as the Poway Unified School District struggled because of financial mismanagement and criminal embezzlement, Darshana ran for school board to get the district back on track. As an elected Trustee, Darshana has helped restore effective governance and fiscal responsibility to the Poway Unified School District, while guiding local schools through the COVID-19 pandemic. Voters overwhelmingly reelected Darshana in 2020. In addition to her work on the School Board, Darshana serves on the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs, Delegate to the California School Boards Association, as President of the San Diego County School Boards Association, as a member of the San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee, as a CADEM Delegate, and as a member of the SDPD Northeastern Division Captain’s Advisory Board. Darshana has previously held executive positions on the Rancho Peñasquitos Planning Board, Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council, Park Village Elementary School PTA and Education Foundation Board. Darshana, her husband, and their three daughters live in San Diego. Learn more about Dr. Patel at this link.


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