Indian American Candidates Usha Reddi, Sterley Stanley, Aditi Bussells Prevail; Nalini Joseph Loses in Elections Across U.S.
File photo of Usha Reddi, City Commissioner of Manhattan, Kansas, addressing the Kansas State Building Trades Meeting at the Flint Hills Technical College, Emporia, Kansas, Sept. 20, 2019. She was reelected for a four-year term Nov. 2, 2021. (Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
By GIOVANNI ALBANESE Jr./India-West Staff Reporter
Indian American incumbents Usha Reddi in Manhattan, Kansas, and Sterley Stanley in New Jersey were victorious in their bids for another term in office, Aditi Srivastav Bussells won a council seat in South Carolina, while Nalini Joseph fell short in her race during the Nov. 2 election.
Reddi was the top vote-getter for the Manhattan City Commission, according to unofficial results late Nov. 2, tallying 3,571 votes followed by incumbent Mayor Wynn Butler (3,499 votes) and former commissioner John Matta (3,265 votes).
Reddi and Butler earned four-year terms as the top finishers, while Matta received a two-year term for taking third.
Reddi, who was first elected to the commission in 2013, said this was her most stressful city commission campaign, according to The Mercury.
“I wasn’t even sure where I was going to place in this race,” Reddi said in the report. “Even though I have served two terms, I think there were very good challengers. There was a lot of good campaigning going on from everyone, and everyone was vying for all the votes.”
Reddi expressed her appreciation to the voters. “I value their support and I hope I have worked for them and with them to continue to move Manhattan forward,” she said, the report added.
Stanley – along with fellow incumbents state Sen. Patrick Diegnan and Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak – won reelection to his Assembly seat in the 18th Legislative District in New Jersey, representing East Brunswick.
Stanley beat realtor Angela Fam and South Plainfield Councilwoman Melanie Mott to win the seat. He is the delegation’s newest member, and one of the newest members of the entire legislature; he was selected in January of this year to replace now-Middlesex County Clerk Nancy Pinkin (D-East Brunswick).
Stanley earned 27,249 votes with Karabinchak taking 28,065 to claim the two seats. Fam took 20,822 votes and Mott had 21,449.
Diegnan beat Republican counterpart Vihal Patel of Edison to claim his seat. Patel earned 20,596 votes to Diegnan’s 28,829.
In Columbia, South Carolina, Aditi Bussells was among a crowded field seeking the city’s councilmember at-large seat.
In the seven-person field, Bussells led with 5,643 votes for 31 percent with all precincts reporting, though the results were still unofficial. Bussells was 5 points ahead of Tyler Bailey who had 26 percent of the vote with 4,695 tallies. Heather Bauer was third with 3,562 votes for 20 percent. Deitra Matthews (11 percent), John Tyler (4 percent), John Crangle (4 percent) and Aaron Smalls (3 percent) rounded out the field.
In Salisbury, North Carolina, Nalini Joseph was vying for a council seat, but came up just short. Incumbents Tamara Sheffield and David Post, along with newcomers Harry McLaughlin Jr. and the Rev. Anthony Smith won the seats.
Guardian ad Litem District Administrator Joseph finished fifth with 13.90 percent. Sheffield led the field with 18.01 percent of the vote, followed by McLaughlin at 16.15 percent, Post at 15.69 percent and Smith with 14.29 percent.
Though Joseph received just 64 fewer votes than Smith, Rowan County Board of Elections executive director Brenda McCubbins said the numbers don’t fall within the acceptable range to request a recount, the Salisbury Post reported.
The Board of Elections still has around 14 provisional ballots to resolve and tabulate, and the election has not yet been formally canvassed. For recounts, the difference in votes between candidates must not exceed 1 percent of the total votes cast for that particular race. A total of 16,127 votes were cast for council candidates, including 100 write-in votes, the report said.