Democratic House of Representatives candidate Sanjay Patel ’95 lost Florida’s 8th Congressional District election to five-term incumbent Republican Representative Bill Posey despite posing a serious challenge, according to TCPalm, a part of the USA Today network. Patel lost the election by over 20 points.
Patel’s campaign focused on preserving opportunity within the country by providing healthcare, promoting education and supporting livable wages. Additionally, Patel advocated for environmental protection, according to his campaign website.
“In many ways, I’ve been fortunate to achieve the American Dream,” Patel said in a questionnaire for Treasure Coast Newspapers. “Unfortunately, the [American] dream is becoming an illusion for too many hardworking people in our district.”
In addition to multiple democratic endorsements, Senator Bernie Sanders and the Sierra Club supported Patel and his campaign, according to Newsweek.
Prior to the election, Patel, a civic activist, represented Florida’s 8th District in the Democratic National Convention of 2016.
District 8 of Florida consists of the Brevard and Indian River Counties, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 43 percent to 27 percent, according to TCPalm.
Patel said on his campaign website that while he was not a career politician, he wanted to restore balance within his community and country.
“I will work to bring us together, not to tear us apart,” Patel said in the Treasure Coast Newspapers questionnaire. “We can disagree without disrespecting one another. People are tired of this needless division.”