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Aakash Patel on the Dr. Jaime Show: Sliding into socks & a county commission seat

August 29, 2017

Up to now, it was a secret that Aakash Patel, Elevate’s founder and president, hates wearing socks. Like the fact that Patel is running for Hillsborough County Commission, District One, both are now public knowledge. And, it’s the public that motivated the entrepreneur to run for office. Those who know Patel know that his passion for the Tampa Bay area runs deep. For those who don’t know him, know this: “To create a government you’re proud of, you have to serve. It’s time for a new generation of leadership to be in charge.” Patel shared the sentiment on the Dr. Jaime show, where he discussed his journey to small business ownership and public service.

Patel’s journey has roots with immigrant parents, “My dad was kicked out of his country when he was 13. My mom came here and learned to speak English at a church,” he shared. His parents went on to open pharmacies and made sure to instill the entrepreneurial spirit in Aakash. Running a successful company and burgeoning campaign, Aakash believes the American dream is alive and well: “It’s about carrying traditions down to the next generation. My parents gave me the opportunity to choose the lifestyle I want to live. Now, I want to give back.”

If elected to office, Patel will oversee a number of local departments and focus on using tax dollars wisely. Determined on ensuring that residents are happy, he also understands the weightiness of the position. The district includes 215,000 people: from Westchase to West Tampa, from South Tampa to Davis Islands, and from Riverview and Apollo Beach to Ruskin. “Everyday I have to get out there and work harder,” Aakash expressed. Among other issues, the candidate is focused on helping the Bay Area better develop transportation, tourism, and education. Education cuts through all issues, including economic development. Also chairman of The Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, Patel believes that “We need to focus on promoting early learning.” Things like an inability to read and dropping out of school negatively impact the local economy by, for one, being directly related to higher numbers of inmates.

To promote economic development in the area, Patel is also intent on supporting small business. “The government needs to make the resources offered, like grants, more accessible. We need to make sure these things are virtual,” he said. Plans to improve public transit routes should make transportation to and from work more feasible. Patel’s goal is for people to come here with an idea, get educated in our top-notch schools, and stay here. While the Tampa Bay area is located within a tourism state, we need to focus on the area’s brand so that visitors become long-term residents: “Tampa is an open community. You can move here, get involved, and you can make a difference really fast.” On the candidate’s website,, more specific details will soon be released about his plans for creating additional capital for businesses to come to Tampa Bay.

Patel has a large support system, and none of those close to him advised him against running. Financial support is an integral part of political campaigns, and he’s aiming for a $500,000 goal. Though there is currently no Republican opponent, he doesn’t believe that will be the case during Republican primaries on August 28, 2018. And, some oppositionists have shared racist sentiments on the candidate’s Facebook page. “You can’t let things get to you,” Aakash said, “You have to be determined and you have to stay positive and calm.” He’ll work on heeding his own advice as he sets out to knock on 18,000 doors in the coming months. To help keep him determined, as well as offer advice, the young politician does have an accountability partner—something Dr. Jaime sees great value in.

Patel is ready to be a part of the next generation of leaders in our local government. “Entrepreneurship is leadership. That’s my family’s story,” he expressed. Now, Aakash Patel is focused on applying his entrepreneurial spirit and leadership skills to the role of Hillsborough County Commissioner. This seat is about public service, and he encourages voters to visit to share their ideas with him. Patel knows full well that most successful people first experience failure. Patel 2018, however, is an endeavor he’s focused on achieving so that he can take action and deliver results to our vibrant community.

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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.

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