Aftab Pureval makes history as Cincinnati’s first Asian American mayor

Aftab Pureval Cincinnati mayor

Aftab Pureval, an Indian Tibetan lawyer, has become the first Asian American mayor of Cincinnati.

Road to victory: The 39-year-old, who serves as the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, won the mayoral race after securing 33,124 (65.8%) of the city’s votes. He defeated City Councilor David Mann, a fellow Democrat.

  • Pureval is a former federal prosecutor and an in-house attorney for Procter & Gamble, which is headquartered in Cincinnati. He also ran for Congress in 2018 but lost to Republican Steve Chabot.
  • Pureval and Mann were the top two finishers in the nonpartisan September primary, NBC News noted. While both are Democrats, Mann, who is 82, leaned more conservative on public safety issues, accusing Pureval of “siding with activists who want to defund the police.”
  • Mann has been criticized for swiftly ending a committee hearing amid the George Floyd protests. During the hearing, the crowd responded angrily to a speaker who advocated police funding. Pureval described it as the moment Mann had turned his back on the Black Lives Matter movement, WXIX reported.
  • Pureval, who announced a three-part economic recovery plan, established his campaign as “a choice between the future and the past.” He described the city’s future with him as “bold,” “diverse” and “dynamic,” according to WLWT.

 

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The aftermath: Pureval acknowledged making history in his victory speech on Tuesday night. Aside from being Cincinnati’s first Asian American mayor, he also happens to be the only Asian American elected as mayor in the Midwest, as per the Cincinnati Enquirer.

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  • Pureval recalled his parents’ journey to the U.S. as refugees from India in search of greener pastures for him and his brother. “Because of that incredible decision, my family went from refugees to now the next mayor of Cincinnati,” he said. “Folks, that story only happens here in Cincinnati. Cincinnati is a place where no matter what you look like, where you’re from, or how much money you have, if you come here and work hard, you can achieve your dreams.”
  • Pureval grew up in Beavercreek, a suburb of Dayton. He attended Ohio State University, where he served as student body president, and eventually pursued a law degree. He worked for Procter & Gamble before running for Hamilton County Clerk of Courts in 2016. He currently resides in Clifton with his wife and their son, according to WVXU.
  • Mann, who served as Cincinnati’s mayor from 1980 to 1982 — and again in 1991 — conceded the race in a recent tweet. “Congratulations to Aftab on his well-deserved victory. I have spoken with him and wish him nothing but the best, and it has been the honor of my lifetime to serve this community as a councilman, mayor, and member of congress throughout my career. Thank you, Cincinnati,” he wrote.
  • Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters also congratulated Pureval in a statement. “Congratulations to Aftab Pureval on his hard-fought victory tonight. Mayor-elect Pureval will improve the lives of Cincinnatians in every corner of the city by growing small businesses, improving public safety and making housing more affordable. I look forward to seeing all he will accomplish in office,” she said.

Featured Image via Aftab Pureval

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