First Indian-American State Senator in Ohio history sworn in

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Niraj Antani, a Republican and the first Indian-American to be elected to the Ohio State Senate being sworn in Jan. 4, 2021. Photo: courtesy Niraj Antani

On Jan. 4, 2021, Niraj Antani, a Republican, was sworn-in as State Senator for the Ohio Senate’s 6th District.

This makes him the first Indian-American State Senator in Ohio history, and possibly the first Republican State Senator in the country.

The 6th Senate District covers southern, eastern, and northern Montgomery County.

Antani formerly served as State Representative for the 42nd Ohio House District since 2014.

“I am so grateful to be able to represent the community in which I was born and raised as a State Senator,” Antani is quoted saying in a press release.

“I will continue to work hard every day for each Ohioan so that they can have the opportunity to achieve their American dream. In this uncertain economic and health time, we must diligently strive to enact policies for the benefit of all Ohioans,” Antani added.

At age 24, he became the youngest serving member of the Ohio State House. In addition, he remains the second Indian-American state elected official in Ohio history, and the first Indian-American Republican, preceded by Democrat Jay Goyal, the first Indian-American in the Ohio State House.

According to his biography on an eponymous website, Antani worked for the Ohio State Director & Senior Adviser to the 2012 Presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, now a Senator from Utah. In 2010, he worked for U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Washington, D.C.

In Ohio, Antani worked for then State Representative – now State Senator – Peggy Lehner in 2009, as well as U.S. Congressman Mike Turner in his Dayton office in 2007.

Antani was named to Forbes Magazine’s list of the top “30 Under 30” people in the United States for Law & Politics in 2015. In 2016, Newsmax named his the 2nd most influential Republican under 30 in the United States.

Ohio state Senate candidate Niraj Antani campaigning photo posted on Twitter April 27, 2020, last day of campaigning. (Photo Twitter)

In addition, he was named to the “Top 30 Conservatives Under Age 30 in the United States” list by Red Alert Politics. In 2013, the Montgomery County Republican Party named him the “Republican Man of the Year.”

Antani has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The Ohio State University.

Born and raised in Miami Township, Antani attended Miamisburg City Schools and is a graduate of Miamisburg High School.

He describes himself as “A strong conservative” and a member of the National Rifle Association, and volunteers for Dayton Right to Life.

He is a member of the Rotary Club of Miamisburg, serves on the executive board of the non-profit Dayton International Festival, Inc., and he chairs the Ohio Republican Party Asian Pacific American Advisory Council.

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