Mundelein candidate who argued Asian people are smarter than others drops out of race

A Mundelein village board candidate who was criticized for comments he made about people of different cultural backgrounds has dropped out of the race.

Ramesh Sharma's name will remain on the April 4 ballot, however, because the legal deadline for withdrawing a candidacy passed last month, a Lake County election official said.

Sharma ended his campaign "effective immediately" in a weekend email to Mayor Steve Lentz, two trustees and the Daily Herald. He thanked the officials for their dedication "and desire to make Mundelein a better place to live."

Sharma's departure leaves three incumbents - Eric Schwenk, Kara Lambert and Kerston Russell - and former Trustee Robin Meier running for three seats on the board.

In a joint candidate interview with the Daily Herald earlier this month, Sharma, who is of Indian descent, said Asian people are smarter than others.

After complaining about the lack of Asian Americans on the village board, Sharma claimed few are on the village payroll.

"Do you know the Asian people are the brain? They are the brain," Sharma said. "Are you people afraid of those people? Why?"

Schwenk asked Sharma to confirm he just said Asian people are smarter than others.

"Of course they are," Sharma responded.

When asked to elaborate, Sharma said Asian people are more educated than those who are Latino, white or Black.

Schwenk called Sharma's comments "racist and inappropriate." The other candidates objected to Sharma's remarks as well, and so did many Mundelein residents on social media as word of the comments spread.

Two could be knocked off ballot in Mundelein

Mundelein board candidates survive petition challenges, will stay on ballot

Mundelein candidate says Asians are smarter; opponents call remark racist

Mundelein village board candidates, top from left, Russell Kerston, Kara Lambert and Robin Meier, and bottom from left, Erich Schwenk and Ramesh C. Sharma. Sharma has dropped out of the race.
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.