Vimal Patel is running for U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat in the Second Congressional District.

“I believe in fixing problems,” Patel said. “Most people want to pick the least worst candidate when they vote.

“My message has resonated well with voters."

Patel stated that he “is not the ordinary Democrat.” He believes that “conservative,” “liberal” and “moderate” are labels that are used to divide and insisted that he can work with both Republicans and Democrats to achieve results for the state and the Second Congressional District.

“Taxation is the ultimate infringement on our liberty,” Patel said. “We have [grown] far too complacent in creating new taxes disguised to serve us. The federal government is not renowned for its efficient use of funds.”

Patel also addressed education on his website, stating, “Education is not a fun topic. We are decades behind meaningful education reform. This is reform built around the curriculum and infrastructures. This is reform to protect our personnel. The federal position can empower and play a meaningful, supportive role to the local and state bodies in this.”

Although education is typically a state responsibility with little that congressmen can do at a federal level to improve it, Patel believes there are “a lot of things you can do at the federal level.

“There is a federal secretary of education. You can empower that position to impact the schools, but yes, ultimately it is the state that runs the schools and they are the biggest culprit.”

Patel said that from childhood his passion has been business. Patel has helped run his family business that started with a small 20-room motel and expanded to hotels across the Second District.

“I have four hotels, a laundromat, and I am a commercial real estate broker,” Patel said.

Patel was raised in Troy and graduated from Charles Henderson High School. He has a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Auburn University. After graduating in 2007, Patel chose to return to Troy and his family’s hospitality business rather than going to law school. When the recession hit, Patel was forced to tighten unnecessary spending in his businesses while still providing superior service, keeping his hotels profitable and his entire staff employed.

With the COVID-19 global pandemic, many businesses were forced to close. Patel was able to operate without cutting jobs or hours and provided care beyond recommendations while respecting individual rights and liberties. Despite the personal risk, Patel spent time at all his businesses helping all departments.

“Partisan politics frame current rhetoric, but we must realize small business is the backbone of the American economy and attack any prohibitive legislation,” Patel said.

Patel promised to make the Second Congressional District “a bastion for small businesses” and promised to have “dedicated staff in his offices across District 2 that will proactively assist small businesses and the local chamber of commerce in retrieving funding, often missed due to the unnecessary complexity of red tape.”

Patel promises to be “a new kind of candidate and a new kind of campaign. I don’t think we are where we want to be as a state and as Americans.”

If Patel wins the Democratic nomination in CD2 he would then be facing incumbent Congressman Barry Moore (R-AL02). Although the Republican Party could pour millions of dollars into the race, Patel insisted that he is capable of doing more with less.

“I am all about spending money where it matters,” Patel said, stating that he was the type of guy who shops around to find the best prices for signs, polling, consultants and other campaign expenses.

“I like Barry Moore,” Patel said. “He should be able to run on his record rather than having to spend millions of dollars to beat me.”

Patel said that he has grassroots support from businesses and property owners who allowed him to put up signs on their properties.

“We have a lot of them,” Patel said. “We have a hundred signs scattered all over the district in locations that are highly visible.

“We have to elect somebody who is HUNGRY to bring money from DC back into our District and cities. We cannot allow partisan politics to weaken our District because if we do not fight for the money, then that money is going somewhere else.”

Patel supports Medicaid expansion.

“There is substantial room to improve in what would be considered preventive healthcare, and we have to make it more affordable and more accessible,” Patel said. “This investment will repay itself many times over and it’s the right thing to do. We also learned through the pandemic that our hospitals need help. We must execute a better plan for future pandemics and hospital systems must get the reinforcement that they so desperately need.”

Patel favors term limits.

“Let’s face it. It’s tough to make it a law,” Patel said. “But we can lead by example.”

Patel promised to serve two terms and return to the Second District “like our founding fathers intended.”

Patel lives in Dothan with his wife and daughter along with his parent and in-laws.

He serves with Dothan Tuesday Rotary Club, as Vice President of India Association of South Alabama, Regional Advisory Board for Choice Hotels International Owner Council, Citizens Supervisory Committee for the City of Dothan, Supernumerary for the Planning and Zoning Commission, Exchange Center for Child Abuse Prevention and the Saliba Family Services Center. He previously served as Treasurer of the Wiregrass Museum of Art and chaired the Alzheimer's Resource Center Walk to Remember in 2021, where they exceeded their donation goal.

He faces Phyllis Harvey-Hall in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email [email protected].

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.