Entrepreneur, Veteran, African Immigrant Announces Republican Challenge to Gretchen Whitmer

Austin Chenge
Facebook/Austin Chenge

An entrepreneur, Army veteran, and African immigrant is running as a Republican against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in 2022.

Austin Chenge, 35, told The Kyle Olson Show this week that he moved to America after college to join his family, who immigrated to the state in 2008.

“When I began this campaign, it was because of the love that I have for this state. I couldn’t just stand by and let everything just fall apart without doing anything about it,” he said.

Chenge said he is “deeply conservative,” and cited the First and Second Amendments as things that need to be defended.

“Our American values are based on Judeo Christian principles. That’s not something anybody should be ashamed of,” he said.

Chenge charged that Whitmer bases her decisions on politics.

“She doesn’t care about the people of Michigan,” he said, adding the governor has “surrounded herself with a group of people who just say yes.” He said that was a “classic characteristic of a dictator.”

Chenge noted the government system includes checks and balances and she has not been working with the legislature on solutions to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have met people who have lost everything because the governor wakes up today, ‘This is the order.’ The next day it changes. People don’t know what to do anymore,” he said.

“People are losing their livelihoods, they’re losing their savings, they’re losing everything they worked for. That is not right. That is unAmerican,” Chenge told The Kyle Olson Show.

Chenge said he has already visited all 83 counties in the state and engaged with voters and encouraged those in power to do the same.

“I’d go out there and meet people and talk to them. I’m going to be very accessible. I’m not going to lock myself up in a mansion and sit there and build a fence around it to put people out,” he said.

“You send the wrong message as a leader, you welcome people with open arms. You don’t hide behind security checkpoints and all of that,” Chenge said.

He said he believed Americans would “do the right thing” with information about the coronavirus, and would prefer a strategy of keeping things open, as opposed to the lockdown strategy Whitmer has employed:

They’re going to stay open, businesses are going to be running, but they’ll be very responsible. But when you come down hard on people and begin to dictate to everyone what they should and should not do, and threaten them with fines, shut down their livelihoods, what you’re going to have is you’re going to create massive unemployment and people are just going to be sick and tired of everything that’s happening.

“I’m encouraging people not to give up,” Chenge said.

Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays–download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Parler.


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