Whittney Williams is a pro-Trump Republican and self-professed former “illegal immigrant” who is running for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District in 2020. Williams is also pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and “anti-socialism.”
Williams announced her candidacy on August 19. In her announcement tweet, she wrote, “I am excited to officially announce I am running for Congress in Michigan’s 11th Congressional District because I love our country, believe in the American Dream, and want to fight back against the radical left’s socialist agenda!”
Within Williams’ press release announcing her candidacy, her Chief Strategist Scott Hagerstrom offered up the following statement:
“The people of Michigan’s 11th Congressional District deserve a representative who shares their values and fights for common sense solutions, not a phony moderate like Haley Stevens who votes lock-step with the liberal ‘Squad’ and Speaker Pelosi nearly 100 percent of the time. Whittney’s story epitomizes the true American experience of hard work and optimism, and her authenticity and diligence will enable her to build a robust campaign that will be fully capable of flipping the district.”
Here’s what you need to know about Williams:
1. Williams, a First-Generation Immigrant From Taiwan, Spent the First 16 Years of Her Life as an ‘Illegal Immigrant’
According to her campaign website, Williams came from Taiwan to the United States when she was ten years old. She was an illegal immigrant “living in the shadows,” per her site, for the next 16 years. She received United States citizenship when she married her husband, Brian.
Her site bio reads in part, “This experience significantly shaped Whittney’s love for her country, belief in the American dream, and conservative values.”
In the campaign video above, Williams says, “Politicians knew of [people like my family.] They called us ‘Dreamers,’ and quite frankly, used us as political props for their own personal gain. Rather than solving obvious problems like immigration, career politicians too often look the other way at everyone else’s expense.”
2. Williams’ Resume Includes: Auto Product Specialist, Model, & Actress
According to her site’s bio, Williams is a “veteran” of the automotive industry, and has “spent the last several years traveling the country working as an U.S. auto show product specialist.”
Williams also has an extensive background in modeling and acting, as well. Her site reads, “Whittney has appeared in commercials and advertisements for Haworth, Bed Bath & Beyond, Jeep, Chevy, Lincoln, Ford, Mopar, Gardner White, and the Pure Michigan Campaign. In addition, she has been on stage with the American Ballet Theater and has performed in annual Nutcrackers and other dance productions with local ballet companies.”
Williams states in her campaign video that the proudest day of her life was when she became an American citizen.
3. Williams Is Challenging Democrat Haley Stevens for the 11th District
As the Republican challenger, Williams is taking on Democrat Rep. Haley Stevens, who flipped the 11th District in 2018.
According to The Hill, Stevens is an ex-Obama official. She won her election by approximately seven points. Prior to Stevens, the seat for the 11th District was held by Republican Dave Trott, who didn’t seek reelection in 2018.
4. Williams Supports the Border Wall & a ‘Merit-Based’ Immigration System
Williams’ Congressional campaign site reveals a number of the issues that Williams plans to run on, though none of those issues lead to more detailed descriptions. A spokesperson for the Williams campaign confirmed to Heavy that more information on each of the issues would be available to the public over the course of the campaign.
These platforms include: a pro-life stance, a pro-Second Amendment stance, a desire to “modernize” the immigration system in the United States (though Williams doesn’t elaborate on what that means, exactly), and “pro-energy independence.”
In her campaign video, Williams elaborates slightly on those issues, by praising the Trump administration in part. She says, “With record employment, and the best economy in the country’s history, the current administration is making it possible for more Americans than ever to achieve their American dream. I want to further this economic success, and fight back against the radical left’s social agenda.”
Given her background, it’s likely that many will be curious about Williams’ immigration stance. Heavy was given further background on Williams’ beliefs via email: Williams is a strong supporter of improving border security, and of the border wall under certain circumstances. What’s more, she believes in implementing a merit-based immigration system, and believes that an “open border” is a “major impediment” to improving the immigration system in America.
5. Williams Holds Degrees in Ballet Performance & Strategic Communications
Per her campaign site, Williams has a Bachelor’s degree in Ballet Performance from the University of Utah, and also holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Communications with an emphasis on Public Relations from Purdue University.