History was made in Sugar Land, Texas, June 8 when Naushad Kermally was voted into the District 2 Council seat in a run-off election.
By emerging victorious, Kermally, who was born in Kampala, Uganda, to parents from India, becomes the first Muslim to hold a seat on the Sugar Land City Council.
“No words can describe how I feel right now,” Kermally told his supporters soon after the early voting results came in June 8. “This is not about Naushad. This is about the love for the City of Sugar Land first and foremost.”
Kermally was speaking to a cheering crowd of about 150 supporters at an election watch party. At the time, Kermally had enough of a lead in early voting for officials to call it a win. And minutes later, the final numbers arrived, announcing that Kermally had defeated his opponent, Nabila Mansoor, with 57.26 percent of the 3,163 votes.
The run-off was a culmination of a May election that was not resolved. In that first contest, Kermally led the polls in a three-candidate race against Mansoor and David Gomet. The District 2 race was the only Sugar Land election that resulted in a runoff, so both Mansoor and Kermally were focusing their efforts on driving voters back out to the polls.
Kermally credits his loyal team of family members, friends and volunteers for helping bring out voters and secure a win.
For members of the Ismaili Muslim community, Kermally’s win felt especially significant. Although Sugar Land is the city with the highest concentration of Asians in Texas, the city council does not always reflect that. Kermally is the first Muslim to serve on the city council in Sugar Land, which is the home to the national headquarters for the Ismaili Council for the United States.
While Kermally did highlight the support he received from his Ismaili Muslim community, he also emphasized that he has run an inclusive campaign and will continue to serve as a representative for people of all backgrounds.
“Whether you’re Hindu, African American, Chinese, it doesn’t matter, I want to represent you and I will represent every citizen of District 2,” Kermally said. “I will be a voice for all of us.”
Kermally began his career as a trauma and critical care nurse and later transitioned to business. He now serves as the vice president of Prime Communications. He has lived in Sugar Land for the past 23 years, during which he sent his three kids through Sugar Land public schools and engaged with the community by serving on the Ethics Review Board, completing the Citizens Police Academy and taking on other voluntary roles.
Kermally is filling Bridget Yeung’s seat on the council, officially taking over the seat June 18.