Three Indian American judges took oath as judges in Fort Bend County, Texas this Sunday.
Juli A. Mathew was re-elected to the bench for her second consecutive term. She became the first Indian American woman to be elected to a U.S. judge in the county four years ago.
Previously, Mathew was the Associate Municipal Judge in Arcola, Texas and an attorney for 15 years. She served as the Administrative Judge for the County Courts and presided over the first Juvenile Intervention and Mental Health Court, according to the county’s website.
“My selection will instill confidence in people, especially Indians and other people from the Asian community, that it is very much possible,” she told The Hindu.
KP George also earned a second term as Fort Bend County judge, the county’s top elected official which presides over the Commissioners Court, according to the county’s website.
George is the first Fort Bend County Judge of South Asian descent, named a “trailblazer” in 2018 according to Houston Public Media. He previously served on the Fort Bend Independent School District School Board from 2014 to 2018.
“In 2018, when I came into office, nobody knew what to expect,” George told Houston Public Media. “Today, they know what to expect. Leaving Fort Bend County 10 times better than when I started, that’s my legacy. But I don’t think about my legacy. My citizens’ well-being is the best way to look at it, and I want to continue to work toward it.”
The county also elected Surendran Pattel for the 240th District Court, a Houston-based lawyer in practice since 2009.
Pattel is involved in community activism, promoting Indian American culture in Houston as well as being a member of the Exchange Club of Sugar Land, which honors academic achievement and assists survivors of domestic abuse, according to the county’s website.
“… the people voted and the election results have proven that it is not how long you have lived in this country, but how you have treated the people, the community that only matters,” Pattel told The Week.
AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Please take advantage of a $30,000 matching grant challenge. An anonymous donor has offered to match dollar for dollar every tax-deductible donation made to Asian American Media Inc from November 1, 2023 until the end of the year. The money will be used to fund the addition of a new reporter and to produce content for limited English-speaking Asian immigrants. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.