George becomes county judge
Fort Bend County voters made history on Nov. 6 and elected the state’s first South Asian County Judge when Democrat KP George defeated 15-year incumbent Republican Robert Hebert.
“I came to America from India 25 years ago with a few dollars in my pocket, which means I came here as an immigrant with a story that will hopefully energize young people,” George said. “In addition, I hope to inspire Fort Bend County’s immigrant community to get involved in mainstream politics and community services and things of that nature.”
George grew up in a small village in India, one of seven children in his family.
“I grew up very poor. I remember I didn’t have a pair of slippers until I was five years-old,” he said. “But, I was always very ambitious about the future.”
George said he was deeply inspired by his father, who worked as a truck driver and earned very little money yet still managed to provide an education for all seven of his children.
“He valued education. His idea was having an education was it was something valuable no one could take away from you,” George said.
Prior to running for county judge, George won election to the Fort Bend ISD School Board, where he’s served as trustee since 2014. He also co-owns and manages a Sugar Land-based independent financial planning practice. He and his wife Sheeba are raising three children together.
“I am very grateful for my experiences serving as a trustee for Fort Bend ISD,” he said. “As a certified financial planner, I understand budgets and finance and I decided I wanted to take my experience to the next level where I can have a much bigger impact. I believe God gave me this opportunity and I am going to do everything I can to make things better for the citizens of Fort Bend County.”
In terms of his priorities, George said he plans to focus on greater transparency, increased efforts to engage with county residents and creating programs and opportunities to inspire the county’s young people.
“I am going to bring a fresh start to the county and when it comes to transparency and community outreach, those things are going to be done very differently that in the past,” he said.
Improving the county’s emergency response system and planning for future needs is also a top priority.
We need to work on being prepared for whatever emergencies we face as a community with the appropriate equipment and shelters in place and planning ahead to help people who are displaced, George said.
Since he cannot serve in two elected offices at the same time, George will be stepping down as trustee on Dec. 31 and will be sworn in as County Judge on Jan. 1, 2019.
George won’t be the only new face at the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court being sworn in that day. Newcomer Ken DeMerchant, a Democrat, defeated 19-year incumbent Commissioner James Patterson, a Republican. DeMerchant received 51.63 percent of votes.