Gandhi's great-grandson not seeking re-election to Kansas house

Shanti Gandhi
Washington, May 9: Shanti Gandhi, a great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, isn't going to seek a second term for a Kansas House seat he won in 2012 and instead plans to endorse his Republican primary rival Dick Jones.

Gandhi defeated Jones in the 2012 Republican primary campaign thrown into disarray when Shawnee County election workers handed out the wrong ballots to people in the 52nd District covering a southwest section of Topeka city, according to local Topeka Capital Journal.

To correct the miscue, a supplemental voting day was authorised for more than 400 people.

Gandhi, a retired heart surgeon won that disputed primary and the general election race that followed in November.

Son of Kanti Lal Gandhi and Saraswati Gandhi, Shanti Gandhi arrived in the US in 1967 as a medical graduate from University of Bombay. He retired as a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon from Stormont-Vail Hospital at Topeka in 2010.

He became a naturalized US citizen in 1975, and started St. Francis Hospital's heart surgery programme after being invited by the Topeka hospital in 1978, according to Wikipedia.

Gandhi, according to, said he weighed the idea of stepping down from the Kansas House throughout the 2014 session.

"I am not going to run," he was quoted as saying. "Governing is totally different than campaigning."

He said he experienced personal frustration with a legislative process requiring members to make snap decisions on substantive policy issues.

At times, he said, he didn't feel like there was opportunity for lawmakers to adequately research bills before votes took place on the House floor or in committee.

Gandhi said he intended to endorse Jones, who is a retired employee of the US State Department.

"We became good friends after our election," Gandhi was quoted as saying. "I'll definitely endorse him."

Jones, 72, said Gandhi had informed him of the decision not to seek re-election. He said he would welcome another opportunity to be part of the state's political process.


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