An Indian-American incumbent in the Ohio State House has won the GOP primary held May 8, by a wide margin, in a race that observers believed might be up for grabs. State Rep. Niraj Antani, once the youngest in state lawmaker in Ohio, proved them dead wrong.
Leading by a wide margin of 63 percent of the vote, Antani handily defeated his closest opponent, Miamisburg Vice Mayor Sarah M. Clark (28 percent), and a 3rd Republican contender, Marcus Rech of Miamisburg (9 percent)
Another Indian-American running for the U.S. Congress, Aftab Pureval, ran unopposed in his Democratic primary. He will be facing off against incumbent Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, who defeated his opponent Samuel Ronan by a vast margin (83.2 percent to 16.8 percent).
Barely an hour after polls closed at 7:30 pm, Antani was up and running far ahead – with 11 percent reporting (8 of 73 precincts) Antani bagged 71 percent of the vote to Clark’s 22 percent; Another hour, and the trend was more than clear with 85 percent reporting from 62 of the 73 precincts, Antani had 62 percent of the vote to his opponents, 29 percent and 9 percent. He gained another 1 percent by close of counting.
Antani faces off on Nov. 6, against Zach Dickerson, the Democrat who defeated his opponent with 56 percent of the vote in the primary.
The 42nd State House District is Republican leaning, evident from the number of voters who showed up from both sides of the aisle – 10,755 \Republicans voted in their primary; less than half that, 4, 393 \Democrats came to the polls. If that is any indication, the Nov. 6 Midterms will probably bring Antani back to the Ohio State House as the only Indian-American lawmaker there. He secured 6,780 of the 10,755 total votes cast, compared to Dickerson’s 2, 482 votes out of the total 4,393.
“Thanks to you, we won the Republican primary last night for my re-election as your State Representative! I am honored to have won an overwhelming majority of 63% of the vote, despite a competitive 3 way race,” Antani said in a mailer and on Twitter.
Antani promised in his message to “continue fighting everyday at the Statehouse to ensure every Ohioan has the opportunity to achieve their American Dream.”
If re-elected in November, Antani will begin his third term in the Ohio House. Having been elected at age 23, now 26, he remains the youngest currently serving member of the House. The first Republican Indian-American elected official in Ohio history, and 2nd after Jay Goyal, a Democrat (2007-2013), Antani has served as vice-chairman of the Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development, as well as a member of the Committee on Health, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Committee on Aging and Long Term Care, and the Committee on Community and Family Advancement.
During the Romney for President campaign in 2012, Antani worked for the Ohio State Director & Senior Adviser to the campaign. Antani was named to Forbes Magazine’s list of the top “30 Under 30” people in the United States for Law & Politics in 2015. As well, the conservative media organization Newsmax named him the 2nd most influential Republican in the nation under age 30. In addition, in 2013 he was named to the “Top 30 Conservatives Under Age 30 in the United States” list by Red Alert Politics.
A graduate of The Ohio State University, Antani was raised in Miami Township, and is a strong conservative, member of the National Rifle Association, and volunteer for Dayton Right to Life. He chairs the Ohio Republican Party Asian Pacific American Advisory Council and serves on the national board of the Republican State Leadership Committee’s Future Majority Project.