Chandler City Councilman Sam Huang has announced he will seek the Republican nomination in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District (CD9)next year.
Huang, whose first term on the council ends in January 2021, wishes to challenge U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Phoenix, to represent a district that stretches from Chandler to northern Scottsdale.
Health care, education and immigration are the top three issues Huang said he would focus on if elected.
The Taiwanese native highlighted how his home country has more affordable health care than the United States.
Medical expenses are getting to be outrageous, Huang said, and he thinks there should be more action in Washington on the issue.
“I think I may be able to inspire some smart people to find out some sort of solution,” the candidate said.
The councilman immigrated to the United States in 1993 and later became a naturalized citizen in 2006.
Huang said he supports accepting law-abiding, productive immigrants into the country, but believes America’s immigration policies need fixing.
“We should discourage any people who want to come in here illegally,” he said.
Huang said he’s had a lifelong interest in politics and has always been an avid student of history.
Before leaving his homeland of Taiwan in the 1990s, the country underwent radical changes after decades of military rule under the Republic of China. Huang got involved with local politics before deciding to start a new life in America.
He worked in education for several years before he was elected to the Chandler City Council in 2016.
Huang described himself as a conservative, but he’s open to hearing ideas from both sides of the ideological spectrum.
Society has become so polarized, the candidate said, and he doesn’t like the tensions that currently exist in the country.
Huang realizes he would probably have an advantage as an incumbent if he were to run for a second term on the council, but he’d rather set his sights on higher office.
“I think the city (Chandler) is already in good hands,” the councilman said, “but right now I think it’s time to go to Congress and to represent more people.”
Huang said he won’t have to resign from the council during his congressional campaign.
He called Stanton a “formidable” opponent who will surely raise a great deal of money during the 2020 election. Stanton’s campaign collected about $2.4 million in contributions during the 2018 midterm election.
Huang refrained from criticizing the Democratic congressman, except to say that Stanton is a seasoned politician and lacks the fresh perspective Huang could bring to Congress.
Before he gets a chance to run against Stanton, the councilman will have to defeat David Giles, a business consultant from Gilbert, in the GOP primary election.
CD9 has only been represented by Democrats since the district was formed in 2013, despite having a substantial amount of registered Republican voters. Stanton beat the GOP candidate last year by about 58,000 votes.
If elected, Huang would be the first person of Asian decent to represent Arizona in Congress.