A new kind of leader for our communities.
I’m running for Assembly because Hudson Valley residents need a real advocate in Albany, someone who can work effectively with the legislative leadership to forge common-sense solutions to the persistent challenges facing families across the 99th District even in times of tremendous stress and in crises with little preparation, time, or warning.
As an attorney, a teacher, and a member of our community, I’ve worked on the frontlines and witnessed the inequities that erode the everyday quality of life for young and old across our region. As your Assemblymember, I pledge to stand up against special interests and fight for a fair shake for our neighbors who need lower taxes, affordable health care coverage, help with the opioid crisis, and better public schools. If elected, I’ll work for you and for a better New York for all, not just the privileged few.
Please let me introduce myself.
Born and Raised in Orange County, NY
Attorney (practicing primarily in estate planning, elder law, Medicaid, and special needs planning)
Former Public School English Teacher
Small Business Owner in the Town of Cornwall
Leadership Orange (former Board Member and past President)
Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties (former Co-Chair of Professional Advisors Council)
Habitat for Humanity
The Dispute Resolution Center
New York Law School '10, LL.M. Taxation
College of William and Mary School of Law '02, J.D.
Tufts University '98, B.A. in English and Education, cum laude
An American Story
I’m an attorney in private practice in Cornwall and an active volunteer in my community. I’m also a first-generation American, proud to be born and raised in Orange County, NY, the same place where my family began our journey in this country.
My parents came to the United States in the 1970s. My father, a surgeon, started a medical practice in Port Jervis, where my brother and I were born. He worked day and night to build his practice and support a young family. Whenever I face a challenge, I think of my father leaving India with five dollars in his pocket and no safety net if he failed.
My brother and I were fortunate to grow up in a country that taught us the value of hard work and the importance of embracing our differences and using them to find common ground with others. I put these values to work at Tufts University, where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Education, and at the College of William and Mary, where I obtained my law degree. These values remain the backbone of my work as an advocate for Hudson Valley families today.
Following the tragic events of 9/11, I returned home to New York to be closer to my family and honed my skills at regional law firms in the Hudson Valley, focusing on estate planning and administration. When the financial crisis of 2008 hit, I watched retirees and widows despair as their retirement portfolios evaporated in a matter of months.
It was a scary and uncertain time for many and it underlined for me the need to enact economic protections for our most vulnerable populations. As our economy recovered, I continued to work in local firms while taking night classes to earn a Masters in Tax at New York Law School in 2010. I achieved a long-held dream when I opened my own small business, Bhandarkar Law, P.C. in Cornwall, NY in 2018. With my focus on estate, Medicaid and asset protection planning, I work closely with clients of all different backgrounds and circumstances. This has allowed me to really get to know my neighbors in the Hudson Valley and to become familiar with the challenges that too many of them are facing.
The Time Is Now
What I’ve witnessed on the frontlines is that the economic dislocation of the last 20 years continues to take its toll. The COVID-19 crisis, longer life expectancies, the 2008 financial crash, ever-increasing healthcare and nursing home costs and shrinking social safety nets have left many who considered themselves securely middle class financially vulnerable.
I am running for Assembly to fight the inequities that put hardworking families and retirees at risk. I pledge to listen to your concerns and be an effective advocate for Hudson Valley residents.
By working with the Majority in the State Assembly, across party lines, as well as with our partners in the State Senate, we will be able to enact legislative victories for all constituents in the 99th District and to make our district a better place for everyone.