Indian American Incumbent Judge Loses Seat in Re-election at Fort Worth, TX

FORT WORTH, TX (TIP): In a March 1 election for the Fort Worth, Texas, 360th District Court, incumbent Judge Mike Sinha fell short to his challenger, Patricia Baca Bennett. The high drama election saw more than 200,000 votes cast in a record county turnout.

Bennett received 57 percent of the vote in the Republican primary, with the Indian American judge tallying just 43 percent. With no Democrats running for the seat, Bennett has all but won the position.

Leading up to the election, an anonymous person authored a smear campaign against Sinha on social media titled, “Sinha Muslim,” according to a Fort Worth Star-Telegram March 8 report.

The five-paragraph message claimed that Sinha, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2010, “wants to bring Sharia … into our family courts” and used “Muslim poll workers,” the Star-Telegram reported.

The e-mail was signed “Alex Jackson” with an address leading to a vacant storage space, according to the report.

Bennett posted on Facebook following publication of the e-mail saying, “My opponent is a Christian with a pretty amazing Christian walk. … I would never condone disparaging another religion,” adding she is having the incident investigated.

All of the incumbent judges on the March 1 primary won except Sinha.

“I think, unfortunately, my last name was an issue,” Sinha said in the Star-Telegram report without blaming Bennett. With Donald J. Trump voters thronging the polls, Sinha said his poll workers and family heard the same line repeatedly: “You’re a Muslim.”

“We were called all kinds of names,” added Sinha.

Sinha is a first-generation American. His father came to the U.S. from Bengal, India, in 1952.

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