WASHINGTON: Indian-American Mary Thomas, a government attorney in Florida, has said that she will run for the US Congressional elections in November 2016.
If elected, Thomas, whose parents arrived in American from India in 1972, would be the first woman Indian-American lawmaker to be a member of the US House of Representatives.
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, 37-year-old Thomas is a Republican. She is pitted against incumbent Gwen Graham of the Democratic Party, who wrested the Second Congressional District of Florida from Republican Steve Southerland in 2014.
Thomas, a personal friend of Florida Governor Rick Scott, told local media that she is hoping to create history by becoming the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the US Congress.
So far only three Indian-Americans elected to the US Congress are Dalip Singh Saundh, Bobby Jindal and Ami Bera.
From California, Bera is the only Indian American in the current Congress.
“I’m a conservative Republican, a Christian, a wife, mother, and a lawyer. If elected, I would be the first Indian- American woman ever elected to Congress. This would truly be a historic event,” Thomas said during her campaign announcement in Florida last week.
Thomas’s parents, Tom and Annie Thomas are physicians who immigrated from India in 1972. This is why she has such strong opposition to undocumented immigration.
She said the issue of illegal immigration is “deeply personal to me and my family.”
“My family story is a shining example of the American dream,” she said.
“Illegal immigration is deeply personal to me and my family. My parents came to this country legally,” she told the local media according to Tallahassee Democrat.
“They were willing to follow the law so that their children could have a better life, so that I could be here before you today the proud descendant of immigrants. So when President (Barack) Obama grants illegal and unconstitutional amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, it is an outrage to me, my parents and to all of the immigrants waiting in line to become Americans legally,” she said.
The Indian-American attorney works as general counsel for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. She plans to step down from the post to campaign full time.
A graduate of the Florida State University College of Law, she also holds a Masters of Law from the University of Miami and a Bachelors degree from the University of South Florida.
Thomas has been a member of Governor Rick Scott’s Administration since he was sworn into office in January 2011.
She currently serves as the General Counsel at the Department of Elder Affairs where she manages and oversees the legal department of an agency that administers a $900 million budget.