Subba Kolla of South Riding, a Loudoun County Realtor, will challenge Del. John J. Bell (D-87) as a Republican in the 2017 Virginia elections.
“My top priorities as a member of the State House will be education, transportation and working with small businesses and tax payers to reduce government interference and regulation,” Kolla said in a statement. “As a conservative Republican, I believe that the government that governs least, governs best.”
If elected, Kolla’s campaign says he would be the first native of India to serve in the General Assembly. The district covers much of eastern Loudoun, stretching from north of Rt. 7 in Cascades to an area south of I-66 in Prince William County. Bell won the seat in 2015 by 320 votes; in 2013 Republican David Ramadan won the seat by 182 votes.
Kolla earned a master’s degree at the Indian Institute of Technology and brought his family to the U.S. at the age of 30 in 1997. After immigrating, Kolla worked as a database engineer while earning an MBA and a license as a real estate broker. He became a citizen in 2008 and runs a real estate brokerage in South Riding.
He has also been involved in a number of charities, including supporting needy people with food and backpack programs both in the United States and India, as well as helping Indian students pay for their education.
Kolla has been an active Republican, involved in the campaigns of President Donald J. Trump, Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10), and David I. Ramadan, who held the 87th District seat in the House of Delegates from 2011 to 2013. Kolla was also a member of the Virginia delegation to the 2016 Republican National Convention. In 2014, Republican and then-county chairman Scott York appointed Kolla to the Loudoun County Board of Equalization.
He has accumulated a number of Republican endorsements in recent weeks, including Comstock, Ramadan, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck, and Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles).
While Kolla said he is still formulating detailed policy ideas, he has been working with Loudoun supervisors already.
“They are encountering some funding problems,” Kolla said. “We are trying to get more funding to Loudoun County, the fastest developing county here.” He said he would like to send more state transportation funding to the area.
The Virginia Republican party will hold its 2017 primary on June 13. According to the Associated Press, it will be Virginia Republicans’ first primary since 2005, having historically favored conventions.