TAMPA BAY, Flor. (Diya TV) — Indian-American entrepreneur Aakash Patel has entered the race for a District 1 seat on the Hillsborough County Commission in Florida. The 33-year-old was the first Republican to announce his candidacy for the 2018 election.
Patel is founder and president of Elevate, Inc., a consultancy firm he launched in 2012 that assists businesses with social media, community outreach programs, public relations and government affairs.
A Political Science and English Literature major at Florida State University, Patel is also a graduate of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Leadership training, FBI Citizen’s Academy, Tampa Police Citizen’s Academy, Tampa Bay Public Leadership Institute, Leadership Tampa Bay and Tampa Connection and College Leadership Florida.
He was appointed as Chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County by Governor Rick Scott (D-Florida) in 2014. He was the youngest member of Florida’s Early Learning Advisory Council. His has also served as vice president of the Indo-U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and as a board of director member of The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
The district serves the South Tampa area.
Patel has been creatively using hash tags and social media in his early campaign efforts. Utilizing the #tampahasswagger hashtag, the son of Indian immigrants who emigrated from India and Uganda, the Florida State University graduate started his own marketing company, Elevate, in 2012.
One of Patel’s platforms is appealing to a younger community, seeking to grow Tampa’s hip, smart up-and-comers in business. He has been affluent in networking, appearing on several TV shows and connecting with younger business professionals.
Patel’s sole opposition in the race is Democratic Tampa City Councilwoman Yvonne “Yolie” Capin.