Stafford: Ken Mathew, a native of Kayamkulam in Kerala's Alappuzha district, has become the first Indian-American and the first person of colour to be sworn in as the Mayor of Stafford in US state of Texas.
Mathew, a former Stafford City Council member, won the race defeating incumbent Mayor Cecil Willis by 16 votes in a run-off race this month, crediting his victory to his faith in god, the Fort Bend Star reported.
He was administered the oath of office by Missouri City Mayor Robin Elackatt, also an Indian-American, at a special event attended by his family members and top officials.
Indian-American Fort Bend County Judge, KP George, who was present on the occasion, tweeted: "Congratulations to Stafford Mayor-elect Ken Mathew! It was an absolute pleasure to attend his swearing-in ceremony this evening. Wishing him all the best as he embarks on this important role."
Texas representatives, Ron Reynolds and Suleman Lulani, and former Missouri City Mayor Owen Allen also graced the occasion.
Back home, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, also congratulated Mathew in a tweet.
"Congratulations to Ken Mathew from Kerala for becoming the elected Mayor of Stafford, US. He is the first Indian to be elected to the post, in 67 years' history of Stafford," Chandrasekhar wrote.
Mathew served on Stafford Council since first being elected in 2006, and served on the city's Planning and Zoning Commission for several years before then.
He immigrated to the US in the 1970s after earning a degree from the University of Bombay, the Star reported.
An MBA, Mathew worked as an accountant and financial executive for several corporations, including Toshiba in the Houston area. He has lived in Stafford since 1982.
(With inputs from IANS.)