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11 elections, 3 wins: The Ahmed Family of Maryland doesn’t give up

What do you do when you lose an election, or five? You get your kids to run too! Meet the marvellous Ahmed family of Bowie, Maryland.

October 10, 2020 / 07:39 AM IST

The Ahmed family in Bowie, Maryland, USA, is remarkable in more ways than one. Between Shukoor Ahmed, 58, and his two daughters – Raaheela, 27, and Shabnam, 25 – the family has contested and campaigned for 11 elections in their district from 1998 onwards. Except for three – including when Raaheela was elected by a decisive majority of almost 32,000 votes to Prince George’s County Board of Education, District 5, in 2016 – they lost all the others.

And yet, determined to represent religious minorities and people of colour, and to use the electoral platform to raise vital social, economic and political issues, they showed up time and time again.

This month, Raaheela will run for reelection, but since her position is uncontested, she is likely to continue for another four-year term. This is the 12th election the Ahmeds will run, and Shukoor is already prepping the girls for the 13th.

Family photo from 1998. Shukoor's first run for State Delegate Family photo from 1998. Shukoor's first run for State Delegate