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Ashwin Ramaswami, First Indian-American Genz Running For Senate Seat

Ashwin Ramaswami has become the first member of Generation Z from the Indian-American community to run for state or federal office in the U.S. This signals the emergence of a fresh breed of young political leaders from the community.

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The 24-year-old, whose parents immigrated from Tamil Nadu in 1990, is campaigning for a Georgia State Senate seat. “I’m running for (Georgia) State Senate in order to give back to my community,” Ramaswami said. “I want to make sure that everyone has the same opportunities that I had growing up.”

He wants to provide “a new voice” for people with “unconventional backgrounds in politics” and increase representation beyond just those who can afford it. Ramaswami has built a career in software engineering, election security, technology law and policy. He is running as a Democrat for District 48, aiming to unseat incumbent Republican Senator Shawn Still, who was indicted for the January 6 Capitol attack.

If victorious, Ramaswami would become Georgia’s first Generation Z state senator and its only one with computer science and law degrees. He would also be the first Indian American elected to the state legislature. “That’s why I’ve been running,” he said regarding making education, jobs, healthcare and other critical issues accessible.

Ramaswami’s parents are IT professionals from Tamil Nadu. “I’ve always grown up with Indian culture and also American culture,” he remarked. As a practicing Hindu, he has been deeply interested in Indian philosophy and attended Chinmaya Mission classes on Hindu epics. In college, he learned Sanskrit and studied ancient Upanishads. Maintaining his heritage and its values motivates his public service.

Professionally, Ramaswami has assisted nonprofits, startups and small businesses in using technology for public benefit. As a cybersecurity specialist with the federal government, he worked to secure the 2020 and 2022 elections. He wants to bring this tech background, unmatched in Georgia’s legislature, to elected office.

Ramaswami feels his Generation Z cohort is “very aware politically” and concerned about the future, but lacks the means and connections older politicians leverage. “I hope to show by being successful at this age, that we can have that kind of a voice,” he said.

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