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Niraj Antani

Age

22

Location

Ohio State University, 2013

Twitter

@NirajJAntani

Not many 22-year-olds can say they appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN, CNBC and PBS before graduating from college. As Communications Director for the Ohio State University College Republicans during the 2012 presidential election, Niraj Antani found himself in the spotlight as the nation’s attention turned to the Buckeye state.

“All media outlets wanted to do a youth focus and they wanted to do a youth focus in a swing state,” Antani explained. “The swing state of all swing states is Ohio, and Ohio State is the biggest university in the state.”

Antani, who graduated in May, was heavily involved in politics throughout high school and college. After knocking on doors, participating in GOTV efforts and interning on Capitol Hill, he chaired Young Americans for Romney in Ohio. It wasn’t until he suffered a campaign loss of his own that he began interning for Romney, coming on board before most of the full-time staff was hired.

“In 2012, I ran for a student government position and lost,” he told Red Alert Politics. “One of the people who worked on my campaign interned for Romney and said, ‘Now that you lost, do you want to join the Romney campaign?’”

Antani will begin law school at the University of Dayton this fall, but he said he plans to continue his participation in politics during the 2014 election cycle.

Moving forward, Antani said he hopes to change the old guard’s attitude toward Millennials, specifically the viewpoint that they’re too young to be elected officials, entrepreneurs or leaders now.

“We shouldn’t take that attitude,” he said. “We are the country. We are the taxpayers. We’re the ones who are graduating in this economy.  These things affect us now, so we can’t wait.

“Never take no for an answer,” he said.

Thirty Under Thirty 2013

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