Antani, Fogel face off in first candidate forum for Ohio Senate race

During a Dayton Daily News candidate forum held via Zoom candidates for the Ohio 6th Senate District tackled a series of topics ranging from school funding, COVID-19 and race to guns, health care and abortion rights.

The 52-minute forum between State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, and Democratic challenger Mark Fogel allowed viewers to submit their questions for the candidates.

ExploreTwo vie for Ohio Senate seat that represents most of Montgomery County

Antani, who is serving his third term as the representative of the 42nd district of the Ohio House of Representatives, spotlighted his parents emigrating to the United States from India in 1978, traveling to Chicago for an interview with Hewlett Packard and landing a job in Dayton.

“That’s how I ended up here and it is truly the honor of my life to have been able to serve the community in which I was born and raised in the House and I hopefully look forward to serving you in the Senate," said Antani, 29, who won the general election in 2014 at the age of 23. “This nation gave me the American Dream, gave my family the American Dream and I will work hard every day to ensure that every Ohioan has the opportunity to achieve their American Dream," he said.

Fogel said he believes that those who the public chooses to represent them should come from “a service mindset.”

“I’m not doing this to pad a resume and climb the political ladder," he said. "I’m here to do the best job as I can as a state senator and I think that we want state senators, just as we want city council people, school board members, governors and presidents, to come from a varied background.”

ExploreWATCH: Candidates for the Ohio 6th Senatorial District face off via online forum

Fogel said he was qualified because of his experience in the military as a pilot, in business and non-profit advocacy and leadership, and because he is a husband and a father.

“Ultimately, it’s about trust,” he said. “Do you trust career politicians who are fighting for themselves or do you trust those who come in with a service background and are going to fight for you?”

This was the first candidate forum held by the Dayton Daily News. In the coming weeks, this news outlet will host three virtual events aimed at helping voters make informed decisions during the November election.

Election Day is Nov. 3.

In Other News