BAKERSFIELD, CA - 17 News has our final candidate profile as voters head to the polls Tuesday in the 16th District State Senate primary. Mohammad Arif says he aims to help the poor and underprivileged.
Born in Pakistan, Arif moved to America in his 20s. Now he wants to serve the country he says gave him so much.
"You know me I live in the district and I am running for Senate," said Arif to a business owner.
Arif's background is in economics, studying commerce and business at Punjab University.
"From the very beginning I was helping people, the students or the poor in my country," said Arif.
Arif moved to the U.S. in 1991 to go to law school and has lived here ever since.
"I find America to be the best country in the world," said Arif.
Now, he wants to give back.
"This is my time. I serve my country because I got a lot from the United States," said Arif.
Arif ran for Governor of California in 2003 and again in 2010. Now, the Bakersfield resident said he's running for State Senate.
As the only Muslim in the race he feels he brings unique talents.
"I speak Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi," said Arif. "I understand Arabic. I can read Arabic and Persian."
That aside, Arif has three goals in mind: create jobs for the poor, foster a better business climate, and invest in our public safety. And, he's campaigning on this platform with a little humor.
"I'm running to lose weight, you know, campaigning door to door, and I'm running to win race," said Arif.
Arif is running against Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, Fresno businesswoman Paulina Miranda, Tulare County business consultant Frank Ramirez and Hanford cherry farmer Andy Vidak.