Nasim Ansari, a Muslim of Pakistani descent, the Republican County Commissioner in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, survived the tsunami election tide of 2006, despite the Democrats ousting the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners along with another Commissioner and winning the majority on the Board.
Ansari, with 54% of the vote, attributes his success to God, his family, friends and the community. He believes that the theme of his campaign based on qualifications, experience and the commitment â€œexperience countsâ€ resonated well with the voters. The Kalamazoo Gazette, a widely circulated newspaper, wrote in its editorial of November 1, 2006 â€œExperience matters, and we believe Kalamazoo County Commissioner Nasim Ansari has the experience the county board needs to do its job. His time on the board, in addition to his service on the Portage City Council and on other community boards and commissions, gives him the edge in this race.â€
Nasim said that he has always run a positive campaign and that his response to the negative campaign against him was very simple–he listed his accomplishments while in office and let them stand as the best evidence of his ability.
In a predominantly white (90%) and less than 1% Asian community, Nasim H. Ansari was the first Muslim American of Pakistani deacent who was elected in Portage Michigan in 1999. After serving on the Portage City Council for three years he was elected in 2002 to serve as Kalamazoo County Commissioner and re-elected again in 2004. He also serves on several boards and commissions.
Nasim Ansari came to the United States in 1977 from Pakistan to attend Western Michigan University. He has Masterâ€™s degrees in Chemistry and Business Administration and a Diploma in Public Administration. He has worked in both the public and private sectors in Pakistan and in the US. Over the years, he has developed an excellent rapport with the community by participating in political, technical and social activities at the local and state levels.