Allan Fung may be Republicans' most moderate candidate for Congress
If there's a Republican running for Congress that cuts against the party brand, it's Rhode Island's Allan Fung.
Why it matters: The son of Chinese immigrants and the former mayor of Cranston, Fung has shown he can win over moderate-minded voters in a solidly Democratic state.
What's happening: Fung is running against Democratic state Treasurer Seth Magaziner for the seat vacated by retiring Democratic Rep. Jim Langevin (R.I.). The Cook Political Report, citing Fung's broad appeal, rates the race as a toss-up, despite President Biden winning the district by 14 points.
- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has been one of Fung's leading champions, visiting the district for a fundraiser and boosting his primary campaign through an affiliated super PAC.
- Democrats are trying to tie Fung to former President Trump, while painting his views on abortion as out of the mainstream.
Some highlights from Axios' interview with Fung this week:
- On whether he agrees with Biden on anything: "I struggle to find anything I agree with this president or Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi about. Their policies have led to these record high inflationary prices, grocery store prices. This is why I’m running." (Fung's campaign later called back to say he would have supported Biden's bipartisan infrastructure legislation.)
- On abortion policy: "I am not an extremist on this. I would not support any type of national ban or criminalization of abortion until the end. I'm certainly not where Joe Biden and the Democrats are, where they’d support late-term abortions to the last day. ... And while I don't support late-term abortions, I would allow them in the instance of life of the mother, rape or incest."
- On where he stands within the GOP: "I’m more of a [Massachusetts Gov.] Charlie Baker type of individual. I like the work Chris Sununu is doing in New Hampshire, Gov. [Phil] Scott in Vermont, those are the Republicans I model myself after."
- On Trump's presidency: "From an economic standpoint, he did a lot of good that helped the economy. Made us energy independent. That's what I see as a positive that came out of his administration."
Notable quotable: House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) offered some rare bipartisan praise for Fung this week, calling him a "quality opponent" and "not an extremist."