Indian-American state Senator Niraj Antani has officially declared his candidacy for the House of Representatives Seat from the 2nd Congressional District of Ohio, as announced on Tuesday. At 32 years old, Antani, a Republican, holds the distinction of being the youngest Indian-American elected official at the state or federal level in the United States.
Having previously served as the first Indian-American State Senator in Ohio, Antani expressed his commitment to championing the values of the community and addressing challenges.
“As the first Hindu and Indian American State Senator in Ohio history, I’ve worked hard every day to ensure every Ohioan has an opportunity to achieve their American Dream,” he stated.
Antani emphasised his dedication to advocating for policies that benefit the community, pledging to oppose those who are detrimental to their interests. “Now, I am running for Congress to be a warrior for our community’s values and fight against those who seek to wreak havoc on us,” he declared.
“I will stand steel-spined for the policies that benefit our community and strongly oppose those who kowtow to those against us,” he added.
If successful in his bid, Antani would make history as the youngest Indian-American Member of Congress and the first Republican Hindu Member of Congress in the United States.
Niraj Antani’s declaration follows the decision of fellow Republican Congressman Brad Wenstrup, who, representing Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District, disclosed on Thursday that he would not pursue re-election and would retire from Congress.
Expressing gratitude for Wenstrup’s years of committed service to the nation, both within Congress and as a combat surgeon in the Army, Antani acknowledged the congressman’s contributions.
The 2nd Congressional District of Ohio covers 16 counties, stretching approximately 150 miles in southern Ohio. The district’s partisan voter index indicates a notable Republican lean.
A product of southern Ohio, Niraj Antani is currently in his initial term as an Ohio Senator, having previously served three terms as a State Representative in the Ohio House of Representatives. Raised in Miami Township and a graduate of Miamisburg High School, Antani earned his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University.
With a track record marked by accolades from various organisations, including those supporting veterans, community colleges, and small businesses, Antani has positioned himself as a seasoned advocate. His political journey commenced in 2014 when, at the age of 23, he became the youngest member of the House after being elected to the Ohio statehouse from the 42nd District.
Looking ahead to his congressional aspirations, Antani aims to address fiscal matters by advocating for reduced government spending and tax cuts. The second Congressional District, covering 16 counties from suburban Cincinnati eastwards and encompassing cities like Wilmington, Hillsboro, Circleville, Chillicothe, Portsmouth, and Gallipolis, is predominantly inclined towards the Republican Party.
The Republican primary election in Ohio is scheduled to occur on March 19, 2024.