Candidate:
State Senate District 18

Anuja Rajendra
Democrat



Anuja Rajendra

Jeff Irwin prevailed in this four-way race, winning by a margin of 239 votes out of 73,340 votes cast in the district. He faces Republican Martin Church in the Nov. 6 general election. Click here for full local election results.

Anuja Rajendra is CEO of BollyFit, a business she founded in 2007. In the Aug. 7 Democratic primary for the state Senate District 18 seat, she faces three other candidates: Michelle Deatrick, Jeff Irwin and Matthew Miller. The position is currently held by Democrat Rebekah Warren, who is term-limited in the senate but running for the District 55 seat in the Michigan House of Representatives.

The winner of this Democratic primary will face Republican Martin Church in the Nov. 6 general election.

This is Rajendra's first bid for public office. On her campaign website, she describes her stance on a range of issues, including education, healthcare, the economy, the environment, gun control and human rights/social justice.

Rajendra previously served as Development Director for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival in 2001-2002 and worked for American Power Conversion Corp. in the mid-1990s. She is a member of Washtenaw County's Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. In 2014, Rajendra wrote a column for The Ann magazine focused on parenting issues. 

She serves on the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports and is a member of the State of Play task force for Southeast Michigan that's working to get kids more involved in sports and physical activity. She has served as a mentor for Walker’s Legacy, a program to help female entrepreneurs, and as an ambassador for the University of Michigan Alumni Association's LEAD Scholars program, which offers scholarships to minority students.

Rajendra holds a bachelor's degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from UM's Ross School of Business.

She is married to Vijay Sankaran, chief information officer at TD Ameritrade. The couple has four young children and live in Ann Arbor's Burns Park neighborhood.

Amy Sankaran is serving as Rajendra’s campaign treasurer.

Click here for a description of Michigan legislative offices and links to other candidate profiles.

Anuja Rajendra: In The News

Nearly $570K pumped into Michigan Senate race in Ann ArborMLive, July 31, 2018

Soapbox Summer 2018WEMU, July 12, 2018

Who will be the Ann Arbor area's next state senator?MLive, July 10, 2018

League of Women Voters Candidate Forum (video)Community Television Network, July 9, 2018

Candidate Profile: Anuja Rajendra, A Successful Business Owner, Believes She Can Get Lansing In Better ShapeWe Love Ann Arbor, Jan. 25, 2018

Anniversary of Women's March to see rally, conference in Ann ArborMLive, Jan. 18, 2018

Anuja Rajendra to run for State Senate in Michigan’s 18th District, hopes to build coalitionsIndia West, Oct. 16, 2017

Ann Arbor resident Anuja Rajendra announces state Senate runMLive, Sept. 7, 2017

Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointments, reappointments to the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and SportsMichigan.gov Press Release, Sept. 16, 2016

BollyFit Founder and Mom Anuja Rajendra is On the MoveMetro Parent, Jan. 7, 2015

Bollywood exercise program created in metro Detroit by momDetroit Unspun, Sept. 5, 2013

The BollyFit Blend: A Q&A with Anuja RajendraConcentrate, May 3, 2013

Ann Arbor woman wants to help Michigan with BollyFit philosophyAnnArbor.com, May 28, 2012

TEDxDetroit Talk: Detroit Dances Rooftop to Rooftop (video)TEDxDetroit, March 8, 2012

Bollywood flash mob dance performance surprises Ann Arbor Summer Festival Top of the Park  – AnnArbor.com, June 29, 2011

The Bargain Hunters: Buyers find deals in the housing bust Ann Arbor Observer, November 2008