Ohio State Senator Niraj Antani, a Republican, announced his campaign for Congress November 14, 2023 from Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District, which leans significantly Republican.
State Sen. Antani’s announcement came on the heels of Congressman Brad Wenstrup, a Republican, making public on Nov. 9, that he will not seek re-election and will retire from Congress. The Republican primary in Ohio will take place on March 19, 2024, when Sen. Antani hopes to get the support of the GOP to run in the November 2024 general elections.
If elected to the US Congress, he would become the youngest Hindu and Indian American Member of Congress in the nation’s history and the 1st Republican Hindu Member of Congress in the country’s history.
In a statement, Antani said, “As the 1st 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. 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. I will stand steel-spined for the policies that benefit our community and strongly oppose those who kowtow to those against us.”
Born and raised in southern Ohio, Sen. Antani is serving his first term in the Ohio Senate, having previously served three terms as State Representative in the Ohio House of Representatives. He has received numerous awards from organizations for veterans, community college, small businesses, and more. Sen. Antani is a graduate of The Ohio State University.
“I am incredibly excited to announce I am running for Congress in 2024! Current Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-2) has served southern Ohio with honor in Congress and as a combat surgeon in the Army and I wish him well as he announced his retirement,” he wrote.
In his announcement, Antani said the American Dream is “under attack” and he is running for Congress to “defend” it. “I’ll be a tireless warrior in Congress for our community and I’ll never stop working hard for our shared value and ideals.” The Republican primary in Ohio is set for March 19, 2024.
A win in the 2024 congressional elections would make Antani the youngest Indian American member of Congress and the first GOP Hindu member of Congress in U.S. history, as per a report.
The young politician became involved in politics in his early twenties. He was elected to the Ohio house at age 23 and to the State Senate at age 29. From 2014-2020, he served as the State Representative for the 42nd House District in the Ohio House of Representatives.
While in the House, Antani served as Vice Chairman of the Rules and Reference Committee and 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. In 2015, Forbes featured him on the list of “30 Under 30” people in the United States for Law & Politics.