The GOP has its most diverse slate of candidates ever, Democrats say it doesn’t matter
Allan Fung, the Republican nominee who has a very good shot of flipping the 2nd Congressional District in deep blue Rhode Island, says today’s GOP is “definitely is not the old Republican Party of the past.”
The former longtime mayor of Cranston – Rhode Island’s second-largest city – who made history as the first mayor of Chinese ancestry in the state, could make the record books again as the first Chinese American member of Congress from the nation’s smallest state.
The GOP was long a party dominated by White males, but Fung is a member of the most diverse class of candidates ever for House Republicans.
“It’s great to really see the diversity that’s been brought along not only from minorities but women,” Fung told Fox News. “We are a different fresh face for the party that will continue to grow in future election cycles.”
While the GOP lost the White House and control of the Senate in the 2020 elections, the party unexpectedly over performed in House races, taking a bite out of the Democrats’ majority in the chamber. And 11 of the 15 House seats flipped by the GOP were by women candidates.
Fast-forward two years and Republicans need a net gain of just five seats in the 435-member chamber in next month’s elections to win back the majority they lost in the 2018 midterms. And this cycle’s recruiting class has upped the ante when it comes to diverse and female candidates.
According to numbers provided by the National Republican Congressional Committee, 80 of the Republican incumbents and candidates on the ballot next month are women, 33 are Hispanic, 28 are Black, 13 are Asian, and three are Native Americans.
“Republicans have an all-star class of candidates who represent the diversity of our country. These candidates are going to win on Election Day and they will deliver for the American people,” NRCC chair Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., highlighted in a statement to Fox News.
The House GOP re-election arm in April launched a paid media initiative to highlight top party recruits who represent what the NRCC calls “the unique stories and diversity of the Republican Party in communities across the country.”
The first candidate showcased was Monica De La Cruz, the party’s nominee in Texas’ 15th Congressional District, who noted that her “American dream” started as a child growing up in Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border “in the Rio Grande Valley with simple beginnings.”
“I worked my way through college, went off the start a career and made my way back home to start my family and eventually my own business. Long days juggling the kids’ school schedules, to finding and serving my clients, and even spending weekends cleaning my own office,” Cruz said in the video. “Around here, we’re tough. We’re not afraid to put in the time and do the work to make a better life for our families.”
Republicans see the surge in diversity as one of the keys to victory in the midterms. And Emmer, at the time, touted that “Republicans have smashed every recruiting record we set last cycle and we are excited for voters to see who Republican candidates are and what they represent.”
Back in Rhode Island, Fung says there’s a reason he’s a Republican.
“My parents were small business owners. You’re seeing a lot of immigrants coming to the country becoming small business owners,” Fung told Fox News.
And he said “a lot of them are seeing the struggles of the failed polices coming from this Democratic administration and they’re saying, ‘Wait a minute, they’re not representing us.’ And I think that’s a driving force behind why you’re seeing more fresh faces coming into party.”
Democrats aren’t buying the GOP’s argument, and they say Republicans are playing catchup when it comes to diversity.
According to figures from the House Press Gallery, 92 of the 127 women in Congress are Democrats, 56 of the 58 Black Americans in Congress are Democrats, 33 of the 47 Hispanics in Congress are Democrats, and 14 of the 18 Asian Americans in Congress are Democrats.
And the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the rival re-election arm to the NRCC, noted that 175 of their House incumbents and candidates on the ballot in the general election are women, 97 are Black, 50 are Latino, and 18 are Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), numbers that are all higher than their Republican counterparts.
“Republicans are mistaken if they think finally engaging with communities of color in the year 2022 with flawed candidates like Q-Anon conspiracy theorist Mayra Flores, alleged child abuser Monica De La Cruz, real life Handmaid’s Tale character John Gibbs, and the dozen of anti-choice extremists like Hung Cao, Juan Ciscomani, and Jennifer-Ruth Green will rid them of their unpopular, extreme MAGA agenda,” DCCC spokesperson Chris Taylor charged in a statement to Fox News.
Taylor argued that “while Republicans attempt to dilute the number of white supremacists within their ranks, their politics of dividing Americans and promoting hate remains.”
De La Cruz has denied the allegations from her ex-husband. Flores has claimed that her use of QAnon hashtags in social media posts was a move to show her opposition to the conspiracy theory that believes a cabal of Satanic Democrats run a murderous child sex ring. And Gibbs’s campaign has said his anti-female website in colleges was nothing more than “a college kid being over the top” and that he believes women should be allowed to work and vote.