A Nigerian, Mr Gabe Okoye, is on the poll in a forthcoming Democratic Get together’s senatorial major runoff election within the U.S.
Okoye, who hails from Enugwu-Aguleri, in Anambra, is in search of the principle opposition occasion’s ticket for the Nov. three normal election into the Georgia State Senate to symbolize District 9.
Okoye, who’s a chieftain of the occasion within the state, faces a black feminine challenger, Nikki Merritt, within the second spherical scheduled for Aug. 11.
They each superior to the runoff stage after defeating a 3rd aspirant, Cheryle Moses, within the first spherical of the first held on June 9.
The winner will face the incumbent, Sen. Peter Martin, a Republican, who has been representing the district since 2015 and is in search of a fourth time period.
Okoye is at the moment a Planning Commissioner in Gwinnett County, the second-most populous native authorities in Georgia, and is the primary black man to function a commissioner within the county’s 202-year historical past.
The civil engineer and founding father of Georgia-based building agency, Essex Geoscience, additionally at the moment serves on the Government Committee Board of the Gwinnett and state chapters of the Democratic Get together.
Amongst different targets, Okoye is in search of to seize the District 9 seat from the Republican Get together, which has held it for over 30 years, “with nothing to point out for it”.
He advised the Information Company of Nigeria (NAN) that he was additionally aspiring to give the black group in Gwinnet County, his base, a robust voice at the state stage.
In these regards, the senatorial hopeful carved a distinct segment for himself whereas serving because the Democratic Get together chairman within the native authorities between 2016 and 2018.
As of the time he emerged the occasion chairman in 2016, Gwinnett was a Republican stronghold, with solely 5 of the 25 elected officers within the county being Democrats.
Nevertheless, the tide turned when Okoye led the occasion into the 2018 mid-term elections and recorded historic wins.
They captured 13 elected workplaces, together with nearly all of Gwinnett seats within the Georgia state legislature, from the Republicans, who at the moment maintain solely seven positions.
The Democratic Get together swept the 2 county fee seats that had been up for election and in addition took one of many two Faculty Board seats contested for.
Additionally, the occasion reclaimed the workplace of the Solicitor Basic of the county after many years within the palms of the Republicans.
“Underneath my management of the occasion, we elected the primary black commissioner, first black faculty board member, and in addition the primary black Solicitor-Basic of the county in its 200-year historical past as of 2018.
“The Democratic Get together additionally produced the primary black state decide from this county underneath my watch,” Okoye advised NAN.
In recognition of those historic achievements in Gwinnett, the Georgia Home of Representatives in Decision 313 of 2019, designated Nov. 6 of that yr as Gabe Okoye Management Day.
The decision partly learn: “Gwinnett County is probably the most numerous and the second largest county within the State of Georgia, however this variety was not mirrored within the county’s management.
“Gabe Okoye exhibited nice management in mobilising and educating the varied 9communities of Gwinnett County on the basic proper to vote.
“He labored arduous to assist make the management of the county extra inclusive, and the results of his arduous work was made manifest through the normal election on Nov. 6, 2018.
“Subsequently, be it resolved by the Home of Representatives that the members of this physique commend Gabe Okoye and recognise Nov. 6, 2019, as Gabe Okoye Management Day in Gwinnett County.”
Okoye moved to the U.S. in 1981, and has been residing in Lawrenceville, a suburb of Atlanta and headquarters of Gwinnett County, since 1992.
On arrival within the U.S., he began life as a safety guard, labored his manner via school to turn out to be a licensed civil engineer, and later turned a longtime Essex Geoscientist.
Married and blessed with 4 “grown and profitable youngsters’’, Okoye believes he has realised his American dream, and is preventing for others to understand theirs.
“Subsequently, I’ll give a fearless, sturdy voice to the silent majority in our district and our county generally,’’ he mentioned on his marketing campaign web site.
A former Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation – Americas (NIDOA), Okoye advised NAN that one other of his predominant aims was to carry the Nigerian group into the mainstream of U.S. politics.
Okoye, who represented Nigerians within the Diaspora on the 2014 Nationwide Convention in Abuja, decried the absence of his fellow countrymen in the U.S. political and civic house, despite their huge contributions to the nation’s improvement.
“What we Nigerians do right here is to attend our numerous ethnic conferences after which go house.
“Our folks don’t combine with the principle stream of this nation, and I feel it’s unsuitable.
“I additionally assume that we’re not main our kids the correct manner. We must always clear the way in which for them into the American politics.
“We don’t hear our names within the political lexicon of this space. I need to encourage our kids to enter politics,’’ he advised NAN