Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy visits Novi

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published May 25, 2023

 Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi May 7.

Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy speaks at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi May 7.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

NOVI  — Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy made a campaign stop in Novi on Sunday afternoon, May 7, where he spoke to approximately 250 people in the Diamond Room at the Suburban Collection Showplace.

“We are empowered to have been born in not just the greatest nation, but the greatest nation at the right time in our history, actually. … I’m lucky to have been born in 1985, where right in my adulthood where we have finally reached the promised land that Martin Luther King talked about 60 years ago,” Ramaswamy told his supporters.

Event coordinator Hima Kolanagireddy, of the Sixth Congressional Republican District, said that she wanted to bring Ramaswamy to Novi in particular to reach Indian American voters.

“That’s why I wanted him to give the message as to what does the party stand for. Just an education. You can still choose to vote for whoever, but if it comes from someone who looks like them, they’re more likely to listen,” Kolanagireddy said.

Ramaswamy, 37, a businessman and a bestselling author of three books, said that it was Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that allowed him, a child of immigrants, to run his own company and now campaign for the presidency.

Ramaswamy hails from Cincinnati, Ohio, and attributes much of his success to being raised in a nuclear family that stressed the importance of education. He graduated as valedictorian from St. Xavier, a Catholic high school for boys, and then went on to graduate summa cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in biology and earned his law degree from Yale. He then went on to open a company called Roivant Sciences, where he oversaw the development of five FDA-approved drugs. He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife, Apoorva, a throat surgeon and assistant professor at Ohio State University, and their two children.

“I stepped down from my job as a biotech CEO to focus on a different type of cancer, not biological cancer, but cultural cancer that threatened to kill that dream that Martin Luther King had 60 years ago, that threatened to kill the dream that had allowed me to achieve everything  I had in my life, and that’s a cancer that led us to the midst of this national identity crisis that we’re in today,”  Ramaswamy said.

Ramaswamy talked about the importance of God, said he would make the country independent from China, said he favored shutting down the FBI, said that there are only two genders, and spoke about border security.

“I liked everything he had to say, because he’s got almost a grassroots view and he seems to have a plan, and the plan really coincides with our values,” said Michelle Rollinger, a district delegate from Canton. “My grandparents came over as immigrants, so I don’t have a problem with immigrants. But I have a problem with coming over illegally.”

Retired teacher Wilson Willard drove in from Cincinnati for the event, as it was the closest stop. Willard, who said he taught Ramaswamy fifth grade math, recalled that he was in the school’s gifted and talented program. He said he was brought to tears seeing his student succeed on this level.

“He was always just a great student with parents that cared about education, and that was so obvious by the way that he knew that education was the most important thing and was his path to success, and he followed up on it. He’s achieved so much. It’s just wonderful to see. I just had to come up because I was just so proud,” Willard said. “It’s amazing.”

“He has great ideas. The country needs young leaders and that is what I see (in Ramaswamy). … The way he spoke on certain things and what he wanted to do, I think that’s the right thing for the country,” said Bob Pathar, of Northville.

Ramaswamy also spoke in Rochester Hills and Howell May 7.