Indian-American State Representative Dr. Amish Shah, declares run for US Congress in Arizona

Arizona State Rep. Dr. Amish Shah who declared his run for US Congress April 3, 2023, from District 1 in Arizona. PHOTO: campaign website

Arizona State Rep. Dr. Amish Shah recently launched his campaign for the U.S. Congress from District 1.

In the April 3 press release about his candidacy, Shah pointed to his life of service, including his 15 years as an emergency physician, followed by his election in 2019 to become a member of the Arizona House of Representatives.

Dr. Shah is credited with a grass-roots, people-oriented campaign, visiting 15,000 households on his door-to-door effort to garner support in the past. “He has also honed his ability to find common ground with colleagues in any party to produce legislation that will improve the lives of constituents,” the press release said.

The seat he is contesting for US Congress is currently held by Republican David Schweikert.

Dr. Amish Shah, Arizona State Assemblyman posing in front of a board showing the bill passed on health care. PHOTO: Facebook post April 5, 2023 @Amish Shah. “Busy day delivering for Arizonans. Another bill headed to the governor’s desk which allows hospitals to dispense pain medication when there is no 24-hour pharmacy readily available. Increasing access to critical medication is a big win for our rural communities,” Dr. Shah says in the post.

The Democratic Party primary for the District is scheduled for August 6, 2024. Ballotpedia shows three other Democrats have declared so far declared they are looking to get their party’s support on Aug. 6, 2024. Candidates running apart from Dr. Shah include Andrei Cherny, Andrew Horne, and Kurt Kroemer.

The Cook Political Report has rated District 1 as a Toss-up between Republicans and Democrats; as has the Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball. And Inside Elections With Nathan L. Gonzales gives the District a ‘Tilt Republican’ rating.

Shah is banking on his ability to bring people together.

“To date, Dr. Shah has had more bills signed into law than any other Democrat currently in the Arizona legislature and has received over a dozen awards for the quality of his service,” his campaign said, promising the candidate would continue his engagement with Arizonans if elected to Congress, and take their ideas to Capitol Hill.

“I am running for Congress because I have seen the difference a single person can make within government to improve people’s lives. Serving in Congress is an opportunity to make an even greater positive impact on issues affecting Arizona,” a statement from him said.

Dr. Amish Shah receiving the Humane Society of the US recognition as 2022 Humane Legislator Award. PHOTO: Facebook April 28, 2022, @HSUSAArizona. During the 2022 legislative session, State Representative Shah sponsored or cosponsored several animal protection bills.

“Giving back is a core value for me. Because of the sacrifices of my parents, who both came to this country from India to pursue a better life, I was able to become a doctor, work onfield with the NFL, and be the first Indian-American to serve in the Arizona legislature. We need to try to understand each other and navigate our differences if we hope to tackle vital issues facing our country such as public education, quality affordable health care, climate change, and voting rights. It would be an honor to address these issues on behalf of Arizonans in the U.S. Congress.”

Shah highlighted the importance of a “good school and a committed teacher” and his continuing support for public school education.

“Dr. Shah stands proudly with educators in demanding full funding of our schools and a pay raise for teachers.

He also opposes the voucher expansion that would take desperately needed resources out of public schools,” the press release said.

As a physician, Dr. Shah highlighted his steadfast commitment to improving health care for all Arizonans. He has advocated for increasing access to care and improving Arizona’s health care work force, the press release noted.

Dr. Shah was named 2022 Women’s Health Care Champion Legislator of the Year by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for his work protecting reproductive rights. Last year he also received the Nursing Hero Award from the Arizona Nurses Association, and the President’s Award for Mental Health Advocacy from the Arizona Psychiatric Society.

He has also protected the right to vote, and in the legislature, “he has voted against every bill that sought to restrict ease of voting and obstruct access to the ballot.”

Shah has won every election with comfortable majorities since 2018, and credits that to his ability to work with and for all constituents “regardless of party or background.”

On his campaign website, Dr. Shah relates his personal journey.

He says growing up in Chicago, he experienced “a pretty rough childhood,” and was bullied, to the point that “there were times I would go to my room and pray that God would just take my life, because there seemed to be no safe place for me.”

But somewhere around 6th grade, the unexpected happened, says. “Two teachers, Mrs. Weber and Ms. Meres, took an interest in me, not just as a good student, but as a good person. They saw I needed support, and gave me kindness, generosity and encouragement.”

He paid his own way through medical school, and became an ER doctor, and as time went on, served as a faculty member, educator, researcher, and even worked with the NFL.

“You see, this story would be unlikely in other places like India where my parents grew up. But I was born in America, and the American people cared for me and invested in me,” Dr. Shah says.

“I know how our kids need our full support and encouragement to reach their potential, especially here in Arizona where we have an underfunded and broken system,” Dr. Shah said, addint that he would strive to ensure every kid gets a real shot like he did.

Arizona’s 1st Congressional District covers northeastern Maricopa County. After its recent redistricting, the 1st District consists of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Chandler, and according to Wikipedia, it is majority-white, and is the wealthiest Congressional District in Arizona.

Shah’s parents immigrated from India in the 1960s, when both of them were engineering students. His father is Jain and his mother is Hindu, his biography on the election website states.

Shah graduated from a Catholic high school, and went on to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Arizona State Rep. Dr. Amish Shah posing at the White House during a visit Oct. 26, 2022. PHOTO: Facebook @Amish Shah

He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He also studied medicine graduating from Northwestern University Medical School as part of the Honors Program in Medical Education.

After medical school, Dr. Shah worked for LEK Consulting, LLC, an international strategy consulting firm.

He completed a Master’s in Public Health with a full Merit Scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley, followed by residency training in Emergency Medicine at New York City’s busiest Level I trauma center.

He won the American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s National Resident Research Competition for his work in inventing a new method to provide care for the critically ill.

Dr. Shah taught medical students and residents at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York as a full-time faculty member and academic researcher.

While there, he also led the New York Jets Airway Management Team. According to the biography, in light of potential injuries of players, Dr. Shah helped the NFL improve their emergency management through research and presented his work at the NFL Physicians’ Society.

Dr. Shah graduated from the University of Arizona’s Sports Medicine fellowship, a Division I college program featuring a wide breadth of sports coverage. His research project and clinical focus were ultrasound-guided procedures and diagnostics. He is currently board certified in Emergency Medicine and Sports Medicine and practices throughout Arizona, treating adults and children.

Dr. Shah founded the first Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival.

He contributes to Sounds Academy and the Humane Society of the United States, and several other charities.

Since 2019, he has been a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, serving Central Phoenix and South Scottsdale. Dr. Shah enjoys basketball, flying small airplanes, and adventurous travel, the biography says.



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