Printed on 2/15/16


Meet the man who will vote for himself and win a US election
October 22, 2010
Rediff News
Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC

On November 3, Ahmedabad-born Dr Janak Joshi will create US history by becoming the first Indian American legislator in Colorado Springs. And all it will take -- is one vote.

All it takes is one vote to create history. On November 2, Republican nominee in Colorado's District 14, in Colorado Springs, Dr Janak Joshi (61), will become the first Indian American legislator to be elected in the state -- unopposed.

The Ahmedabad-born retired physician, told, that since he has no opposition, "All I need is one vote to be elected. I am waiting for Election Day to cast my own vote and be the winner."

"I am basically elected," he said. "People are already treating me as the representative-elect," Joshi said. The Democrats haven't offered up a token candidate and no other Independent or any other candidate had come forward to challenge him in this majority conservative Republican district, 60 miles south of Denver.

"I believe we scared them off," said Joshi. "We thought the Democrats may put a token candidate, but I guess there were some other places they felt they would rather spend the money." Joshi added, 'Sometimes they just put up a token candidate so it doesn't look like they gave the seat away. But in my case they didn't."

Joshi, who immigrated to the US in 1972, after completing his residency in internal medicine and a nephrology fellowship in New York City, moved to Colorado Springs in 1978 where he practiced for 30 years until his retirement two years ago.

"When I became a US citizen, I decided to attend my neighborhood caucus meetings and realised that if this is going to be my home, I better get involved in the political process," he said. "Ever since, I've been involved in grassroots politics and became a precinct committee leader, division leader, delegate to several county and state conventions and worked on many campaigns."

Joshi, who also has masters in business administration from the University of Northern Colorado in health care administration, said, "I eventually ran for the At-Large City Council seat eight years ago, but was unsuccessful. I decided to pay more attention to my medical practice and also started two dialysis centers."

But, he said after retiring, he was stung once again by the political bug and decided to enter the fray, particularly as he felt he had gone through the grass-roots process and paid his dues and had all of the eligibility and track record to run for the vacant District 14 seat in the state legislature.

Joshi has traveled extensively both across the US and the world, visiting over 50 countries "and all the seven continents. I have visited the former Soviet Union, Spain, Germany Netherlands, etc, specifically to study their socialized health care systems."

Joshi acknowledged that District 14, where he has lived for the past 32 years "is perhaps one of the most conservative districts in the country, and several conservative Christian organisations, including Focus on the Family are located here. It is mostly white, and I was the first non-white physician in the history of Colorado Springs."

"There are over 50 percent registered Republicans and about 35 percent unaffiliated, but who usually vote Republican and only about 14 percent Democrats," he said and pointed out that there were very few Indian Americans in his district and his campaign was largely self-financed with some help from family and friends.

"I am for smaller government, lower taxes, less regulatory burden on small business and my priorities are to help balance Colorado's checkbook, and then of course, help businesses 'get back in business'. That is the only way to get out of this economic malaise.

"Increasing taxes is not the way and will only be counter-productive and add to the deficit and kill small businesses, which are the heart and soul of our economy," he said.

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Representative Janak Joshi
Colorado House District 16L