An Indian-American candidate for the Ohio State Senate was endorsed by top politicians, boosting his chances of being the party’s candidate in the primaries. The Republican primary for State Senator will take place March 17.
Republican State Rep. Niraj Antani, who is running for the state Senate from Ohio’s 6th District which covers most of Montgomery County, was endorsed Jan. 21, 2020, by Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted.
Antani, who describes himself as a “Conservative Republican” is the only Indian-American in the lower house and will become the only one from the community in the state Senate if he wins. He is the second Indian-American to be elected to the State House after Jay Goyal, a Democrat.
“The Miami Valley needs a champion in the State Senate, and Niraj Antani will be that champion,” Gov. DeWine is quoted saying in the press release from Antani’s campaign. “I am supporting him because I know that Niraj cares deeply about his community and his constituents, and he is the best person to deliver results for them. I look forward to continue working with him in the legislature as a State Senator,” DeWine added.
Both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor have strong ties to the region. Governor DeWine is the 1st governor from the Miami Valley in a century. Lieutenant Governor Husted was the State Senator for the Ohio Senate’s 6th district from 2009-2011, before becoming Secretary of State in 2011.
Rep. Antani was an early endorser of the DeWine-Husted ticket in 2018, and served as the Montgomery County Chair for Husted’s 2014 re-election campaign for Secretary of State.
“I would be proud to have Niraj serve in the Senate seat I once held,” Husted is quoted saying in the press release. “Niraj has worked tirelessly for his constituents and community in the legislature so far, and I know he will do that in the State Senate. The Dayton region needs strong advocates, and Niraj will be exactly that as a State Senator,” Husted said.
The Antani campaign has knocked on over 68,000 doors so far, with the help of nearly 20 interns. In addition, Representative Antani was recently endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party, after being recommended for the endorsement by Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof and Senate leadership.
Antani thanked DeWine and Husted for their support.
“My priority has always been fighting for our community here in the Dayton region, and I look forward to continue working to do that with Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted,” Antani said, noting their roots in District 6..
“I will continue working hard every day to earn the support of each voter by talking about our vision to restore the American Dream for every Ohioan,” Antani said.
On Twitter, Antani called the endorsements “BIG NEWS”
Rep. Antani, 27, is currently serving his third term in the Ohio House of Representatives, and was first elected when he was just 23 years old. His current District 42 covers most of southern Montgomery County, so he has the advantage of name recognition.
Antani was the Ohio State Director and Senior Adviser to the Romney for President campaign in 2012. Prior to that he was in the office of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Washington, D.C.
Antani was named to Forbes Magazine’s list of the top “30 Under 30” people in the United States for Law & Politics in 2015.
His bio on the government website says he was also named the the 2nd most influential Republican in the nation under age 30, by the conservative media organization Newsmax.
In addition, in 2013 he was named to the “Top 30 Conservatives Under Age 30 in the United States” list by Red Alert Politics. Antani has received the Legislator of the Year Award by the AMVETS Department of Ohio for his work helping veterans, as well as the Friend of Community Colleges Award by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, and the Distinguished Government Service Award by the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools for his work for the betterment of higher education for the middle class.
Antani received the 2018 “Making a Difference” award from the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association for his work helping people with disabilities.
Currently in the Ohio House, he serves as Vice Chairman of the Committee on Insurance, and as a member of the Committee on Health, Committee on Public Utilities, and Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee.