Birendra Dhakal lost to Ahmed Hassan, a Somali-American candidate, by 18 votes in the city council election of Clarkston city, according to the election result announced Wednesday, November 6.
He secured 197 votes while Ahmed Hassan got 215 votes. The result was obvious as there were more number of Somali immigrants who could vote, while for Birendra it was just few Bhutanese American who became citizens recently.
The result is not a big thing for Birendra, as he mentions: “I lost the election by 18 votes but I definitely gained a valuable knowledge in the process. It was a great opportunity to experience and learn about the way the American election process is conducted. I was lucky to have received strong guidance from my friend, Ted Terry, the Mayor-elect throughout the campaign”.
Clarkston city has all white council members while the Mayor is the only African-American face. The election constituency from which Mr. Dhakal contested in the zip code 30021 is a part of Clarkston city.
According to Birendra, only his family members including him voted, as those few Bhutanese community members who became eligible for voting does not fall in his constituency. He claims to have got most of his voters are Caucasians, African-Americans, Somali and Vietnamese.
In a question to what difference can it make when a Somali-American winning the election, he answers, “My loss does not make any difference in pushing the agenda in council. We need someone from the international community to represent the voice which Ahmed Hassan can do the job.”