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Young Indian Americans Take Oath of Office as State Legislators, Senators

Young Indian Americans Take Oath of Office as State Legislators, Senators

Staff Writer

Several Indian Americans began their terms in the local and state offices beginning Jan. 1. In the next few days, several were sworn in. A few of them, like Ohio State Sen. Niraj Antani, New York State Sens. Jeremy Cooney and Kevin Thomas, shared photos on their social media handles.

“Truly honored to have been officially sworn-in as State Senator today,” Antani, a Republican, wrote in a Facebook post. Antani, 29, who was elected to the Ohio state Senate from the 6th District, was sworn-in on Jan. 4. “As I became the first Indian-American State Senator in Ohio history today, I vow to work hard every day so each Ohioan can achieve their American Dream. So grateful to be able to represent the community in which I was born and raised. To all my voters, supporters, and team: thank you,” he wrote. Antani formerly served as State Representative for the 42nd Ohio House District since 2014. He was the youngest serving member of the Ohio State House of Representatives.

Jenifer Rajkumar, center, the first South Asian American to be elected to the New York State Assembly, with Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), left, and Kumar Barve, member of the Maryland House of Delegates. Top photo, State Sen. Kevin Thomas is sworn-in to his second term on Jan. 5, by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran outside the The Veterans Memorial at Eisenhower Park on Long Island, New York.

In New York, State Sen. Kevin Thomas was sworn-in to his second term on Jan. 5, by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran outside the The Veterans Memorial at Eisenhower Park. “We’ve been partners in government since I took office, and I’m proud to continue working alongside her to serve the residents of Nassau County,” Thomas wrote in a Facebook post. “Thank you to the voters of the 6th Senate district for your trust in re-electing me.”

Surrounded by his wife, Diane, a Chinese American, and her parents, newly-elected New York State Sen. Jeremy Cooney takes his oath of office on Jan. 4. 

Meanwhile in Upstate New York, newly-elected State Sen. Jeremy Cooney took his oath of office on Jan. 4. “Being sworn into the New York State Senate this morning (by my beautiful wife, Diane!) was one of the greatest honors in my life,” Cooney’s Facebook post said. “We made history as the first Asian ever elected to state office from upstate. While I am a proud son of Rochester, I was born in Kolkata, India, and adopted by an American mother as a child. Today, standing beside me, is a Chinese family that came to New York seeking the American Dream. Our collective journey is a reminder that we live in a nation of opportunity.”

Newly-elected Ohio State Sen. Niraj Antani takes the oath of office, Jan. 4. Antani, a Repubican, formerly served as State Representative for the 42nd Ohio House District since 2014.

New York Assembly member Zohran Kwame Mamdani shared an official photo of him on his Facebook page. “Today is my first day as the Assembly member for NY’s 36th AD,” he wrote on Jan. 1. “To hold this position is the honor of my life & I hold it because of you.You took what was once just a dream and you made it into a reality. You did this – whether through a dollar you sent, a door you knocked, a phone call you made, a postcard you wrote, a sidewalk you chalked, a meal you delivered, or a vote you cast. It may have been my name on the ballot and face in the photo but this campaign was a collective one – and that is exactly the ethos that I will bring from Astoria to Albany.”

Kentucky State Rep. Nima Kulkarni in the State Senate, Jan. 5. Kulkarni was elected for a second term to the Kentucky House of Representatives, Nov. 3, 2020. The 40-year-old defeated fellow Democrat Dennis Horlander in the June primaries and ran unopposed in the general election.

Kentucky State Rep. Nima Kulkarni in the State Senate, Jan. 5. Kulkarni was elected for a second term to the Kentucky House of Representatives, Nov. 3, 2020. The 40-year-old defeated fellow Democrat Dennis Horlander in the June primaries and ran unopposed in the general election.

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Similarly, Kentucky State Rep. Nima Kulkarni also shared a photo of her in the State Senate. “The General Assembly is back in session,” she wrote, Jan. 5. “I am serving on a number of committees this session, including reappointment to the Judiciary and Economic Development committees. I’m proud to sponsor and co-sponsored bills that focus on helping our working families and small businesses get back on their feet, ensuring a fair and equitable judicial process, and making healthcare more accessible for all Kentuckians, among others.”

Jenifer Rajkumar, who became the first South Asian American to be elected to the New York State Assembly, shared a photo with Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) and Kumar Barve, member of the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 17. “I’m grateful for my friendship with these national path breakers, two of the first South Asians ever to hold legislative seats in the United States,” she wrote in a Jan. 4 Facebook post. “As I begin my first week as the first South Asian-American Assemblywoman in New York, I am proud of the ceilings our community continues to smash.” 

Pennsylvania State Sen. Nikhil Saval shared a photo and his son driving to the swearing-in on Jan. 5. “On our way to swearing-in,” he wrote in a Facebook photo.

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