Aftab Pureval has announced his intentions to run as a Democrat to challenge longtime Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot for a spot in Congress in Ohio's 1st District.
Pureval, 35-year-old son of an India-born father and Tibet-born mother, made a name for himself in 2016 when he pulled off a surprising upset in Hamilton County, winning the county's clerk of courts seat.
The Indian American officially announced his plan to run for Congress Jan. 31 at Avondale, the Ohio-based urban agriculture nonprofit Gabriel’s Place.
"I’m running for Congress because we need a new direction for our country and a new generation of leadership," Pureval said in a tweet. "We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Let’s do this together."
The incumbent Chabot, 65, has served as the 1st Congressional District representative for 20 years. He was first elected in 1994 and was unseated in 2008 but won the seat back in 2010 thanks to redistricting which put GOP-leaning Warren County into the 1st District.
Pureval said at his campaign launching announcement that he intends to paint Chabot as a rubber stamp for President Donald Trump, according to a WVXU.org report.
"Donald Trump is not on the ballot in 2018,'' Pureval told the crowd, according to the report. “But members of Congress like Steve Chabot who have been doing his bidding without objection – you had better believe they are on the ballot in 2018.”
Pureval added that it’s up to the community to get to the polls “and tell Steve Chabot and the Congress that has enabled Donald Trump, ‘You’re fired,’”
The district battle is already heating up. According to the WVXU report, Chabot spokesman Cody Rizzuto said that Pureval’s candidacy is “a nearly flawless combination of arrogance, inexperience and political opportunism.”
Rizzuto claimed that Pureval isn’t from Cincinnati nor Warren County and that he doesn’t live in the district, a claim Pureval denied, saying he and his fiancée live downtown, the report said.
The Ohio-born Pureval earned his bachelor's degree in political science. During his time at OSU, he served as student body president. Later Pureval earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Pureval served as an associate at White & Case after graduating from UC from 2008 through 2012, and then as a special assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cincinnati for a year before spending about three years with Procter & Gamble, until he took over as the Hamilton County clerk of courts.
Fellow Republican Samuel Ronan will challenge Chabot for the GOP nomination.
Aside from Pureval, two other Democrats have announced their candidacy for the race, including Robert Barr and Laura Ann Weaver.
The primary is set for May 8.