County Commissioners Fail to Appoint Reuben D’Silva to an Open Senate Seat
After collecting millions of dollars in political campaign contributions from the South Asian community, the Clark County Commissioners failed to appoint an Indian American Reuben D’Silva to an open Senate District 8 seat. The seat became open as Senator Aaron Ford got elected as our new State Attorney General.
The open Senate seat attracted ten applicants. Two Asian Americans, Reuben D’Silva, and Duy Nguyen, applied for the open Senate Seat. Mr. Nguyen’s, Vietnamese American, the application didn’t go as well as many Asian groups, including the Asian Chamber of Commerce, opposed his appointment.
Reuben D’Silva, who previously lost an election for the US Congress, applied for the open seat as he is well known in the District and aptly informed on the issues impacting the District residents. Reuben, a school teacher, and a former Iraq war veteran had an unprecedented support from numerous Asian groups along with supporters from the local African American community. During the public comment period, many of his supporters from the Las Vegas community spoke highly of him and his commitment to the public service. With an impeccable resume, an advanced degree from Ivy League (Yale University) and years of political & community activism, Reuben was well suited for the open Senate seat.
During the elections, the Asian community at large felt that our elected officials are being venal and can easily be influenced with copious contributions from the community. That didn’t work in this case – appointing an Indian American to an open Senate seat. The politically active members of the community and especially some of the donors believe in sending a strong message to the elected officials on not considering an Indian American Reuben D’Silva for an appointment to an open seat. Asians, with ten percent of the Southern Nevada population and no elected official from the community, the feeling in the room was that commissioners should be held responsible come election 2020. Along with other Asians, Fayyaz Raja, Majid Raja, Dr. Faisal Suba, Mohamad Moten, Ajay Dayal, Ali Moten, and Rohit Joshi from the South Asian community wrote a letter and spoke to the commissioners in support of Reuben. All the talking and writing in support of Reuben were of no avail. However, the political activist Sanje Sedera spoke in support of the other Asian applicant, Duy Nguyen.
Addressing the commissioners, Reuben said, “that my background, professional career, list of endorsements, and lived experiences display the fact that I have a very intimate and diverse understanding of our great state, that I can examine Nevada issues from a multitude of perspectives, and that I have a diversity of support and broad trust from important community stakeholders who have served as tremendous stewards of the people.”
At the end, the County Commissioners, all seven of them, voted in favor of a political newcomer African American Ms. Dallas as she had the support of Democratic Senate Caucus which is controlled by two elected African Americans – Aaron Ford and Kelvin Atkinson. Asian community members attending the public meeting were utterly disappointed by the Commissioners vote who ignored the growing and prosperous Asian American community.