The field of Shakopee City Council candidates is up to four after Nurul (Arif) Khan announced Wednesday morning that he will run for one of the two open seats.
“I had never thought about running for city council, but my son keeps on telling me, ‘you should file,'” Khan said. “Everything is about the young generation. We have to think about these values for our kids. I’m running for my son.”
Khan has a son, 17, and a daughter, 7, who both attend Shakopee schools. Khan has lived in Shakopee for more than 25 years after coming here from Bangladesh as an exchange student.
“My host family was in Shakopee, so I used to live on Second Avenue, and that’s how I ended up (here),” he said. “I love Shakopee.”
After high school, Khan went on to earn his undergrad at Mankato State University, followed by a master’s degree in Political Science. He completed one year of a Doctorate program in educational leadership at the University of St. Thomas, but fatherhood and finances cut that journey short.
“Once kids come, forget about your Doctorate,” Khan said with a laugh. “You know how it is.”
Khan’s love for Shakopee, his son’s encouragement, and his desire to bring more diversity to the city council were the driving factors behind his decision to run for office. But as someone who has spent years working in before and after-school child care, Khan wants to create more robust programming and options for the city’s youth.
“We’re not going to be here (on Earth) a long time, but I want to create something for our kids. More activities, health and wellness, fitness, bring them outside. I want to bring more to parks and recreation,” he said.
Previously, Khan worked for River Valley YMCA with before and after school programs in Shakopee schools. He currently works for Prior Lake Savage Schools in before and after school programming. In his free time, he serves on the Scott County Historical Society Board of Directors and coaches soccer in town.
As of Wednesday morning, Khan joins newcomer Jim Dulaney and incumbents Matt Lehman and Jay Whiting in the race for city council. Lehman and Whiting’s seats are up for grabs. The local office filing period ends Tuesday, Aug. 11.