Harry Sidhu, a former city councilman and mayor pro tem in Anaheim, Calif., has officially announced his intention to run for mayor of the same city next year.

The Indian American announced his candidacy in a July 12 e-mail to supporters.

Sidhu, who immigrated to the U.S. from India with his parents in 1974, is no stranger to public office. He served as a member of the Anaheim City Council from 2004 through 2012, with stints as the mayor pro tem from December 2009 through December 2011, as well as in 2012. He has also run, albeit unsuccessfully, for the California state Senate in 2008, Orange County supervisor in 2010, and the California state Assembly in 2016.

Sidhu, who is also a business owner having owned multiple El Pollo Loco franchises in the Anaheim area, believes his experience serving the public will help his campaign as he attempts to head the city of Anaheim, which he has called home since 1994.

“My background experience as a successful business owner and dedicated public servant make me uniquely qualified to run for this office,” Sidhu, a Republican, told India-West. “I see possibilities where others may only see problems.”

The first person of Indian heritage in Anaheim’s City Council explained how, in his tenure in office, he established a strong reputation and proven track record for protecting the taxpayers, promoting public safety, expanding city services and improving neighborhoods.

He added that he championed small businesses, streamlined regulations, supported meaningful pension reform, balanced fiscally responsible budgets, advanced youth programs and encouraged a thriving business culture and economic development for local and regional job growth.

Sidhu also stressed how he was able to establish initiatives to help nearly 2,000 people get jobs during the recession, as well as fairs to help “tens of thousands of men, women and children” get much-needed medical, dental and vision care services.

During his time in city council, the Indian American also noted how he helped strengthen private property owner rights through his support of a City Charter Amendment prohibiting eminent domain abuse.

Additionally, the mayoral candidate, as an Orange County Water District Board Member and Alternate Commissioner for the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, advocated for sensible water policies to protect and ensure the future sustainability of our vital local groundwater supplies, he said.

“We need innovative problem-solving and experienced, common sense leadership to meet the needs of our community and keep our great city of Anaheim moving forward in a positive direction,” Sidhu stressed. “That’s why I’m running for mayor. Together we can make Anaheim shine.”

As mayor, Sidhu’s focus will be on making a difference for the community through a leadership vision of promise and opportunity.

“I will strive to effectively govern with the city council through innovative reforms, pro-neighborhood and pro-business policies,” Sidhu told India-West. “Key priorities will be growing our economy to create good jobs and housing, safeguarding our families by ensuring the highest level of police and fire protection, investing in community services and infrastructure improvements, keeping utility rates and taxes low, and continuing efforts to address the challenges posed by homelessness,” the candidate added, stressing the top of the priority list is public safety to ensure all Anaheim neighborhoods are safe.

Even in the early stages of the campaign, Sidhu has already received support from numerous individuals, community leaders, business organizations, public safety officers and other elected officials in the Anaheim area.

Sidhu announced in a July 19 news release that Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has endorsed him for the seat.

“We need leaders like Harry Sidhu who will support public safety officials and give law enforcement the tools they need to keep our streets safe,” said Hutchens in a statement.

Sidhu earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University in 1979 and officially became a U.S. citizen in 1980, the same year he moved to California to begin a career as a consulting engineer in the aerospace defense industry.

He later became a licensed California professional engineer, a registered mechanical engineer and obtained a general contractor’s license, as well as became a general aviation licensed private pilot and a licensed real estate broker.

In the community, Sidhu has served as a Boys and Girls Clubs of Anaheim board member, an Anaheim Family YMCA advisory board member, an Anaheim Chamber of Commerce member, an Anaheim Small Business Chamber member, a city of Anaheim deputy chairman for the Orange County Republican Party, and an Anaheim Youth Soccer coach.

The Indian American feels he has fulfilled many of dreams and is a true example of the American Dream. He hopes to provide a perspective for the community that will help it grow.

“Through hard work, as a proud American, I fulfilled many of (my) dreams. After three decades in the private sector, my calling has been to be of public service to my local community,” Sidhu said. “As an Indo-American immigrant, I have truly lived the American Dream. I offer a unique conservative perspective. I want to continue to open the doors of the American Dream for others.”

Sidhu said he is still in the process of assembling his campaign team. The mayoral election for Anaheim is set for Nov. 6, 2018.

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