Could A GOP Candidate Win Despite The Tag: 'Former Illegal Alien?'
Editor's note: From age 10 to 26, Whittney WILLIAMS, a Taiwanese immigrant, lived in the United States as an "undocumented alien." As of today, she is a GOP candidate in Michigan's 11th Congressional District.
So, the question arises: Will Williams' personal history be a political liability, a political asset or ultimately make little or no difference whatsoever?
MIRS asked a panel of political pundits to weigh in on that question. In addition, they were asked to opine on expectations regarding former 8th Congressional District U.S. Rep. Mike BISHOP (R-Rochester) and two follow-up questions pertaining to developing political situations in Oakland County.
Q. Whittney Williams, a Taiwanese immigrant, is a Republican running in Michigan's 11thCongressional District to try to unseat Rep. Haley STEVENS (D- Birmingham). Will the fact that Williams lived in the U.S. illegally from age 10 to 26 hurt her chances?
According to Jen EYER, a partner in Vanguard Public Affairs, Williams running as a Republican seems rather awkward. "Williams' choice to run as a Republican when the president, party leaders and -- importantly -- base voters are pushing to kick families like hers out of the country is a head-scratcher to say the least," Eyer said. "From a purely strategic perspective, she would likely find much more success with the Democratic Party, which has shown strong support for 'Dreamers' and immigrants in general. But freedom of association is one of the wonderful things about America."
Q. How surprising would it be if former U.S. Rep. Mike BISHOP (R-Rochester) decides not to run in 2020 to try to retake Michigan's 8th Congressional District -- not very surprising, somewhat surprising or shockingly surprising?
Eyer agreed, it wouldn't be very surprising if Bishop decided not to try to get his old seat back. "Not very surprising, because rematches are seldom successful," Eyer said. "Although Republicans need someone with strong name recognition to counter Rep. Elissa Slotkin's strong fundraising. They also will need someone who isn't so tied to President Donald TRUMP."
Q. Did the false starts and missteps made by Democrats in choosing a new Oakland County Executive to replace the late L. Brooks PATTERSON qualify as a full-blown debacle, a minor debacle, or just an insignificant screw-up that will be soon forgotten?
"The political jockeying is completely expected -- and it's inside baseball," Eyer asserted. "The most important factor that will affect the eventual election of a new county executive is that Oakland County is turning blue."
Q. Could the Republicans find a better candidate for Oakland County executive than Oakland County Sheriff Mike BOUCHARD?
Eyer said she's not convinced that Bouchard would necessarily be the best GOP candidate. "While it's unsurprising that Oakland County Republicans would stick with big political names, the county also has a significant number of women leaders," Eyer said. "A prominent woman business executive might be a more formidable choice to face a Democrat in the increasingly Democratic county."