New York, Feb 9 (IANS) Indian-American doctor Amish Shah has stepped down from the House of Representatives in the US state of Arizona to focus on his congressional campaign.
The first Indian-American to serve in the Arizona legislature, 46-year-old Shah announced his run as a Democrat last year from the state’s 1st Congressional District, which is presently held by Republican David Schweikert.
“With mixed emotions, I resigned as your House Rep this week to pursue my Congressional campaign. Serving at the State Legislature was an incredible honor, offering diverse perspectives. As a Congressional candidate, I am eager to bring our collective values to the national stage,” Shah wrote in a post on X.
Along with Shah, an emergency physician for over 15 years, at least six other candidates are seeking a Democratic-run from the district, which covers parts of Scottsdale and northern Phoenix.
The top issues Shah is running on include education, healthcare, and voting rights, and according to his website, he wants fair wages for workers, universal healthcare, and abortion access.
Thanking Shah for his service and leadership, the Arizona House Democrats said on X: “Worth your time. @DrAmishShah bids a fond and thoughtful farewell to his House colleagues. Dr Shah, who is running for Congress, resigned today after 5 years in office and a tremendous track record of bi-partisan legislation”.
Shah’s departure leaves three empty Democratic seats in the House amidst the legislature’s bill season, Arizona-based KGUN9 news channel reported.
Shah said in a release that he raised more than $530,000 from individual donors in the opening quarter of his congressional campaign, and over 75 per cent of these donors were from Arizona.
According to his campaign statement, he has made a name for himself with his unique brand of door-to-door campaigning, having visited over 15,000 households, and to date, he has had more bills signed into law than any other Democrat currently in the Arizona legislature.
“Giving back is a core value for me. Because of the sacrifices of my parents, who both came to this country from India to pursue a better life, I was able to become a doctor… and be the first Indian-American to serve in the Arizona legislature,” Shah said in an earlier statement.
Born and raised in Chicago, Shah’s parents were engineering students who immigrated from India in the 1960s.
He attended Northwestern University in Evanston and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.
He graduated from the Northwestern University Medical School as part of the Honors Program in Medical Education.
Outside of his medical practice, he founded the first Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival as a philanthropic endeavour to promote healthy eating.
He was named the 2022 Women’s Health Care Champion Legislator of the Year by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for his work protecting reproductive rights.
He also received the Nursing Hero Award in 2022 from the Arizona Nurses Association and the President’s Award for Mental Health Advocacy from the Arizona Psychiatric Society.