DOWNEY - Sultan "Sam" Ahmad has always believed in the American Dream.Twenty six years ago, with little more than his family and an entrepreneurial spirit, Ahmad came to California hoping to take advantage of every golden opportunity. However, after years of economic stress and divided government, Ahmad now believes that dream might be in jeopardy. "During the past four years, our families, small businesses, educational institutions, and nation as a whole, suffered unprecedented hardships," said Ahmad. "Hardships that were the result of previous government's ill-conceived policies. The people want change." Today, the 50-year-old Artesia businessman is campaigning in the newly-drawn 58th Assembly District, hopeful his idealistic message of American strength and resilience will earn him a seat in Sacramento this November. Owner of Leader Business Group LLP, a multi-million dollar travel and financial business, Ahmad said he was hesitant to run, but got a push from members of the community and his own family. "They said you already do a lot of things for the community so why don't you run officially," said Ahmad, who has been an active community leader in Cerritos and Artesia. He currently serves on the "Let Freedom Ring" Committee in Cerritos, and is a member of both the Artesia and Cerritos Chamber of Commerce. He also is editor-in-chief of the Asian Business Link American Directory and chairman of the American Political Development Forum. Ahmad believes it's important for residents to vote for new representation after years of broken promises from Sacramento politicians. "They are career politicians," he said. "I am not a career politician. I've done a lot of things for the community already. People want me to run. We are working very hard to get the campaign out. Walking door to door daily, meeting with the voters and senior citizens at the senior centers." With a Master's in Business Administration, a degree in Criminal Justice Administration, and real estate and brokerage licenses, Ahmad maintains his commitment to creating jobs through economic development, providing a quality education and ensuring affordable health care. "My main goal is to make California golden again," he said. "California has given its manufacturing abroad. We must bring manufacturing back to California so we can get those jobs." Currently, Ahmad's campaign is self-funded, but the Cerritos resident is getting support from local business leaders and a 28-person volunteer staff. Several regional community leaders and business groups have endorsed Ahmad's candidacy including Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, former Los Angeles County appointee on aging Ramesh Mahajan, Cerritos City Council Member Dr. Joseph Cho, Montebello City Treasurer Sheraly Khwaja, Pastor Wallace Williams of the Artesia Community Development Center, and Pastor David Mash of Hosanna Church in Norwalk. "I am not a career politician, I am someone from the outside who wants to work for the public. Republicans and Democrats, you see the qualifications, you have to vote for the one with the qualifications," Ahmad said. "You have to choose the right candidate. Read my goals, what I want to do for the people of California. All of those qualities you need in a candidate." On June 5, Ahmad will face off against local educator and activist Cristina Garcia, Bell Gardens Councilman Daniel Crespo, Downey Councilman Luis Marquez, businesswoman Patricia Kotze-Ramos, and former Assemblyman Tom Calderon of Montebello. The newly realigned 58th Assembly District includes the cities of Artesia, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Cerritos, Commerce, Downey, Montebello, Pico Rivera and portions of Norwalk.
********** Published: May 17, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 05