State Senator Tina Maharath (D-Columbus) is serving her first term in the Ohio Senate after being elected to the General Assembly in November 2018. She represents the 3rd Senate District, which encompasses areas of Franklin County, including Whitehall, Gahanna, Westerville, New Albany, Groveport, Canal Winchester, the Hilltop and parts of Columbus. She is the first Asian-American woman elected to the Ohio Senate.
A native of Whitehall, Tina chose to dedicate her life to public service at a young age, inspired by her upbringing as the daughter of refugee parents from the Southeast Asian nation of Laos. Her father served the U.S. Army under the Laos Army while her mother worked as a nurse in the Laos Army.
A warrior for underserved, troubled youth, Tina has had to live through a number of adverse events. She lost her mother and two brothers in a fatal car accident while she was still a young teen studying in France. Tina leaned on her community to overcome such a tragedy and decided to return that support by devoting herself to that very same community.
Before being elected to office, she helped organize Columbus’ annual Asian Festival as the chair for the Volunteer Committee. She served on the Lao Volunteer Donation Association’s advisory board and on the organizing committee for Ohio’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Legislative Day, an event she went on to chair.
She volunteers for various organizations throughout central Ohio, including Legacies of War, Ohio Asian American Health Coalition, Community Refugee Immigration Services, Community Shelter Board and Asian American Community Services. In her free time, she also mentors young adults who, like her, have had rough upbringings and advocates for issues that impact people facing trauma.
Despite all the trauma she faced at such a young age, Tina used her strength to complete her secondary and higher education.
Tina currently resides in Canal Winchester with her son, Teng.