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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

2 Republicans vying to take on Dingell in new congressional district

Ann Arbor, MI — If U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, D-Ann Arbor, wants another two years in Congress, she’ll have to leave behind one of two Republicans.

Northville’s Hima Kolanagireddy and Canton’s Whitney Williams are competing on GOP tickets in the August 2 primary for a chance to pick up the four-term incumbent in November.

“The reason I run is because I’m sick and tired of where we’re going as a country right now and the whole race that’s been going on for the last two years, making everyone think it’s a racist country, Kolanagireddy said, adding that his story as an immigrant from India should resonate with many who have come to the US legally and made a living for themselves. “I want to make sure that this story gets told more, that this country offers everyone an equal opportunity to succeed.”

Kolanagireddy has been running an aggressive campaign criticizing Dingell, sending mailers calling him a “Pelosi robot” who supported “the 2nd fake impeachment of President Trump”. Mailers showed Dingell’s head on a robot body and accused him of pushing a transgender agenda in schools and supporting inflation-causing spending, including COVID-19 masks and vaccine mandates.

Williams has been running a quiet campaign and has not responded to requests for interviews, although when she ran for Congress two years ago she said she wanted to fight against a “radical left-wing socialist agenda”. Kolanagireddy is now making similar remarks targeting Dingel.

“America is the best country and I am sick and tired of people trying to break the very fabric of society that has made the country great,” Kolanagireddy’s website said. “I am the living embodiment of the American Dream. We need to take this country back from radical socialist liberals and, therefore, this is my fight to save my new home.”

Hima Kolanagireddy, one of two Republicans seeking the seat of U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell in Michigan’s new Sixth Congressional District.photo by mark truppiano

Both Republicans are telling their stories of being immigrants to the United States.

Williams previously ran for Congress in Michigan’s 11th district in 2020 as a pro-Trump Republican and lost in a six-way GOP primary, securing 12% of the vote. She has said that she came to the US from Taiwan at the age of 10 and spent 16 years in the shadows as an undocumented immigrant.

Not knowing how to speak English when she arrived, she gained praise for the American Dream, conservative values ​​and the pursuit of the right to life, freedom and happiness, her website says. Williams also stated on her website that she wants to reclaim freedom, limit government, reduce taxes and secure the country’s borders, and that she is against abortion and supports the Second Amendment, which Guarantees the right to own a gun.

Williams has worked as an auto-show product specialist and has appeared in commercials and commercials for Pure Michigan, Ford and other companies, as well as ballet productions. She has a master’s degree in strategic communication with an emphasis on public relations from Purdue University and enjoys boxing and spending time with her husband of 13 years and their three rescue puppies, her website explains.

Kolanagireddy received a master’s degree in business administration from Osmania University in India in 1997, before immigrating to Canada in 1999 and the US in 2006, becoming a citizen in 2015. A business woman, she founded Eighty Group LLC, an IT and management staffing company, in 2011. services company, her website states, noting that she is also a mother of three children and is involved in church and community service.

Speaking in support of gun ownership and limited government, Kolanagireddy on his website strongly opposed abortion, calling it murder. “An armed society is a safe society,” says her website.

She also wants to “restore Judeo-Christian values” and “stand up against transgenderism,” her website says.

Kolanagireddy said in a campaign video that she considers Dingel “too far away”. Dingell, in turn, calls Kolanagireddy “perfect”.

Dingell, a former Republican who was elected to Congress as a Democrat in 2014, says he has worked on both sides of the aisle to push for bipartisan legislation.

“Long before I was elected to Congress, I worked to build coalitions and get real results for my community,” she said. “As a car girl who worked at GM for 30 years, I know how to work, and I know how to solve the issues that keep families up at night.”

Dingell recently moved from her longtime home in Dearborn to Ann Arbor to run for Michigan’s new 6th congressional district, which includes most of her old district.

(Can’t see the map? Click here)

The new district covers all of Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Chelsea, Dexter and Milan, and extends east to downriver communities such as Gros Ile, Trenton, Riverview, Woodhaven and Gibraltar.

It also includes communities such as Belleville, Canton, Plymouth, Northville and Novi.

According to FiveThirtyEight.com, the district is solidly Democratic, with a partisan leaning of 21 percentage points.

Kolanagireddy accused Dingell and President Joe Biden of being extremists and argued that Democrats are “trying to advance China’s agenda to take over America” ​​as an example of a policy she considers extreme, she said. Cited the push for a major shift towards electric vehicles. next decade.

“We are not ready for that kind of revolutionary change,” she said, expressing concern about the shutdown of domestic oil and gas production.

On the issue of abortion, Kolanagireddy said “extreme” states like California and New York may not be the same for Michigan, which is more liberal.

Only 34.2% of Michigan voters voted in Roe v. Wade overturned, while 57.7% opposed it, according to a recent WDIV/Detroit News poll.

Dingell argues that abortion should be an individual medical decision between a woman, her doctor, and her faith and that it is unconscionable to determine that women should not have autonomy over their bodies.

Kolanagireddy was called as a witness by Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani to testify about alleged voter fraud in Michigan in 2020, when he worked as a poll challenger in Detroit. He testified during a hearing in Lansing state that photo ID requirements for voters should be tightened, adding that “all Chinese people look alike.”

She has since addressed it on her website, saying: “I testified in the Michigan state capital about electoral irregularities, which I saw as an election challenge. Vicious attacks on me for speaking the truth, as I see it.” My life was threatened and my business was attacked. I knew at the time that everything I said angered the left wing lunatics, which meant I had their soft spot in exposing their corruption had hit.”

Williams has so far reported over $11,000 as contributions to his campaign, most of it already spent on his own money, while Kolanagireddy has reported more than $47,000, including those made for his campaign. Includes approximately $33,000. Williams’ website discourages supporters from donating, saying: “Keep your hard earned money from Biden inflation.”

Dingell has raised more than $1 million, including contributions from political action committees such as DTE Energy, NextEra Energy, General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Google, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Fox Corp.

While it remains to be seen who her November rival will be, the Congresswoman said she is still focused on finding solutions and working to deliver results.

“In just the last few weeks, I have spearheaded bipartisan legislation to shut down the ‘dating partner loophole’ as part of the bipartisan Safe Communities Act and to promote and enhance our nation’s conservation efforts in historic, bipartisan recovery. America’s Wildlife Act and ensuring the long-term health of fish and wildlife throughout the country,” she said.

“Together with my good friend Fred Upton, I have led and passed bipartisan legislation to ban dangerous chemicals like PFAS and PFOA from our environment,” she said. “With the support of the entire Michigan delegation — Democrats and Republicans — I have passed legislation to honor one of Michigan’s greatest war heroes, Lieutenant Colonel Charles S. Kettles. From reducing health care costs to the cost of our Great Lakes.” From protecting and strengthening our auto industry to increasing dam safety to ending drunk driving, I’ve worked with my Republican allies to find a compromise and work for our constituents. I hold that record. I will hold it against anyone.”

Read more Ann Arbor-area election coverage.

More from Ann Arbor News:

Here’s Your Ann Arbor-Area Voter’s Guide to the August 2022 Primary

Meet 2 Candidates in the Race for Ann Arbor’s 5th Ward Council

See where Ann Arbor’s First Ward Council candidates stand on issues

Meet the 3 Candidates in the Race for Ann Arbor’s Fourth Ward Council

Ann Arbor-Jackson area State House candidates discuss guns, social justice

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