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Santa Monica School Board Member Will Not Seek Reelection

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By Daniel Larios
Staff Writer

June 24, 2014 -- In an election year where political surprises are becoming the norm, Santa Monica Board Member Nimish Patel announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election this November.

Elected in 2010, Patel cited work and home, saying he needs to concentrate more on his legal work as managing partner of his firm and spend more time with his family.

“Deciding not to seek reelection was a painstaking decision for me because serving on the Board has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Patel said in a statement.

“But my professional obligations have recently increased substantially, and I need to make sure that I balance this with being an attentive husband and an involved dad. 

I am so grateful to my business colleagues and family for being supportive over the past four years and giving me time to dedicate to public service, one of the greater joys in life.”

School Board member Ben Allen, who is in a hotly contested race for State Senate in November, called Patel an “incredibly kind thoughtful person who enjoys public service.”

“He brought a personal style where he brings people together,” Allen said.  “He’s smart but very pleasant.  He’s a team player who got us through some tough times, such as the school budget cuts.”

“He’s a nice, good and smart man,” Allen added. “We’ll miss him in the School board.”

Before being elected to the SMMUSD board, Patel had been actively involved with the School District, serving on its Financial Oversight Committee, the Steering Committee for the Community for Excellent Public Schools and the School Site Governance Council.

Patel received 13,019 votes during the 2010 race for four open School Board seats. He was the only candidate to win without the backing of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, the City’s most powerful political group.

Patel finished fourth behind Laurie Lieberman, Oscar de la Torre and Ralph Machur, but managed to unseat the fourth SMRR candidate, Barry Snell. 

Patel received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California in 1991. In 1998, he received both JD and MBA degrees from the University of San Diego.

Patel is also a former CPA and is currently licensed by the California State Bar.

“I will always cherish the relationships I’ve established with my fellow board members, the Superintendent and the amazing district staff,” Patel said.  “Most importantly I want to thank my constituents from the City of Santa Monica and Malibu for their support and for reaffirming why I love this community so much.”

“Because public service is something my family and I cherish, I intend to remain involved in the community but in a different capacity,” he added.

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