Abrahim Javed Loses Fort Bend County Commissioner Polls To Taral Patel

Local political observers say controversies dogged Abrahim Javed's campaign, which ultimately cost him the elections

Abrahim Javed Loses Fort Bend County Commissioner Polls To Taral Patel

Pakistani-American Abrahim Javed's effort to become the Commissioner of Fort Bend County in Sugar Land, Texas failed after he was comprehensively beaten by his rival Taral Patel.

Abrahim received 3,530 votes or 28% of all votes cast, while his rival Patel secured 6,426 votes to be elected as the new commissioner with a whopping 51% of the vote.

This was no ordinary election because the tranquil neighbourhoods of Fort Bend County were thrust into the spotlight by the enigmatic emergence of Abrahim Tahir Javed, a bonafide resident of Beaumont, Texas. 

He is the son of Muhammad Tahir Javed, the Texas businessman who rose to prominence last year when he was appointed and shortly thereafter denotified by Pakistan's caretaker prime minister Anwarul Haq Kakar from the position of Overseas Investment Advisor after Javed's past convictions for fraud in the United States came to light.

Abrahim's bid for commissioner of Fort Bend County sparked a fervent debate in the community with allegations ranging from residency violations to potential legal repercussions and attempting to adopt an electoral strategy of divide and conquer versus fostering unity.

Observers claimed that the Texas Ethics Commission's decision to investigate Abrahim for alleged violations of election rules on appointing a treasurer and the way he accepted certain campaign contributions could have played a role in his defeat. 

Abrahim's father has had his troubles with US law enforcement as well. He was convicted in 1990 for five years of deferred probation for felony theft but only served half of that term. 

After serving his sentence, Javed focussed on setting up a business and with help from his brother. He proved successful in business and grew his business to set up several companies, turning into an entrepreneur, investor, business magnate, and philanthropist. 

But he ran into trouble in 2017 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned of criminal prosecution and seizure after his company, Royal Smoke LL, an online purveyor of tobacco and tobacco-related products, for allegedly misbranded products and put up advertisements violating regulations, and for potentially selling products to unauthorised individuals. 

In 2018, Javed announced he would run for the Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Position. However, a Texas Ethics Commission investigation caused him to back out. 

In October 2023, PM Kakar's office issued a notification announcing the appointment of Javed as a special assistant on investment. But a month later, the notification was withdrawn without ascribing any official reason. Some suggested the decision was taken in view of Javed's past criminal record. 

Local political commentator Marcus Gutierrez said Abrahim Javed's foray into politics was marked by controversies, with past actions of his father perhaps casting a shadow on his campaign.
"The controversy surrounding the Javed family culminated in Abrahim Javed's defeat at the polls," he said, adding that Abrahim's campaign strategy failed to resonate with the electorate.