Arab-American runs for Virginia 11th District House of Delegates
By Nijma Darwish
The small business consultant from Roanoke, Virginia ran an unsuccessful bid for congress against Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA, 6th Dist) in 2008, and he challenged Roanoke Mayor David Bowers in a primary in 2012.
However, luck doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Sam’s recent accomplishments and everything to do with perseverance, dedication and starred qualifications for the job according to recent endorsements from fellow colleagues and hundreds of supporters.
Kimble Reynolds Jr., who temporarily ran as an independent for the 11th, withdrew his candidacy stating in a press release that we obtained: “After learning more about Sam Rasoul and speaking with him about the sincerity of his commitment to education, I believe Roanoke has that strong candidate.”
Sam attended Roanoke County and Botetourt County Schools before graduating with a degree in Business Administration from Roanoke College in Salem, followed by an MBA in International Business. At 26 years old, Sam became the youngest congressional candidate to run in the history of the United States.
He and his wife, Layaly, reside in the “Star City” and have three children, “I grew up here, great place to raise a family; always been very safe and awarded me a great number of opportunities I have always had a strong affinity for my hometown.”
“Raised by Roanoke to Serve Roanoke,” the 32 year old hopes his bid for the HOD will be successful by focusing on issues including; Pre-K and Post-Secondary Education, Accessible and Affordable Healthcare and Small Business Development.
“One thing that’s important to me is to try to work together with people from both sides of the aisle and all walks of life to try and improve public policy for the common good,” says Sam.
As an Arab-American he strongly believes in civic duty and appreciates his humble beginnings, “I am living this American dream; I just think we should do everything that we can to make sure that dream is available to everyone that wants to strive for that,” stated Sam. “…We should be very thankful for all of the freedoms we do have here and be involved because fortunately when we are not involved. … If we are not going to be part of the solution then we are really part of the problem.”
If he wins, Sam plans to contribute half of his salary as delegate back to local charities in the Roanoke region. The field is set for Roanoke’s special election on Tuesday January 7th; Sam will face Republican Sheriff Octavia Johnson.
(Nijma Darwish is an Ohio based freelance writer, photographer and food enthusiast. You can reach her at nijmadarwish.com or follow her on Twitter @BrnAndBread.)
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