Born in a small village in rural Pakistan, Asif Mahmood came to the United States 26 years ago to study medicine. Today, he is a pulmonologist in Pasadena and has just announced plans to run for lieutenant governor of California for the 2018 election. If elected, Dr. Mahmood would likely be the first Muslim to hold statewide office in California.
“I am a proud Muslim,” says Dr. Mahmood. “I am a Muslim immigrant. I am from the state of California. I am a triple threat to Donald Trump.”
The New York Times notes that Dr. Mahmood is a “bit of a long-shot” but the doctor countered, saying that his medical experience gives him the qualifications to campaign on health care reform. He also said that he did not think his faith would be an obstacle in California. “There might be a small segment of people who feel that way,” says the candidate. “But I am a proud Muslim and a proud immigrant and I love America. I deal with Americans every day. And when you help them they are totally appreciative of that.”
Muslims are making progress in public office. Currently, there are two members of Congress who are Muslim (Keith Ellison and Andre Carson), and Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is running for Governor of Michigan for the 2018 election.