Born to a truck driver father in southern Kerala, George spent his childhood studying under a kerosene lamp in a hut.
The New Year began on a high note and another reassurance for the prosperous Indian American community in the United States. Indian American K.P. George became the first from the community to be sworn in as the Fort Bend County Judge in Texas.
George, 53, a Democrat, had earlier in November created a stir when he won against Republican Judge Robert Hebert during the mid-terms. For many Indian American political analysts too, the win came as a surprise as they hadn’t imagined the deep impact the community has been gathering in the region.
The Fort Bend County has a large concentration of Indian American population and is been seen as one of the most diverse counties in America. According to recent data, the county is home to about 35 percent Anglos and 21 percent Asians. It also has a fairly large concentration of Hispanics (24 percent) and African Americans (20 percent).
George, who took office on January 1, has a compelling story of living up the American dream. Born to a truck driver father in Kerala’s mere-dot-on-the-map city of Kokkadu, George spent his childhood studying under a kerosene lamp in a hut.
Upbeat about his new role, George told PTI that community engagement will remain a top priority for his administration. He said: “It is a historic moment for me as well as the county. We will continue to have an open-door policy for the most diverse county which represents people who speak over 100 languages. We are here to represent each one of them and ensure a better place for the residents and children of this county.”
What makes George’s rise particularly noteworthy is the fact that it would be the first time that an Indian American would be the judge of a county that is bigger in both population and budget than cities such as Anaheim, CA, and Hoboken, NJ, run by Indian American mayors.
According to Rice University Prof. Mark Jones, George is now the most prominent Indian American to hold a judicial position at the state level. Also as the county judge, he wields more outright power than most mayors.
George first moved to the United States in 1993 to work for a financial firm.
He also ran for office in 2010, in the hope to be elected as the county treasurer. All along, he has continued to believe in the American dream.