Queens native and CEO Austin Cheng has announced his bid for New York’s 3rd Congressional District on the Democratic Party Line.
Cheng, of Old Westbury, joins an already crowded group running to replace George Santos–who is currently facing a federal indictment–which includes at least 14 candidates trying to oust the controversial and duplicitous congressman.
Cheng is the only Asian-American candidate in the race. Asians represent 17.2% of the district, according to Data USA.
“My parents immigrated to this country and worked to the bone to give my sister and me a better life– they found their American Dream in New York, and they passed that dream onto us,” Cheng said in a statement. “I am running for Congress in the district where I was born and raised to protect that Dream, and ensure that regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, if you work hard you can achieve that Dream.
The candidate said he will return to the district open, honest and respectful governing that has been overlooked recently.
Since announcing his run, Cheng has put $500,000 of his own money into his campaign, which has raised over $100,000
Professionally, Cheng is the CEO of Gramercy Surgery Center, an independent outpatient surgery center started by his family he took over in 2019 after his mother became ill. Prior to his work with Gramercy, Cheng served on active duty with the United States Army as a judge advocate criminal prosecutor and was a special assistant U.S. attorney and criminal defense attorney.
Peter Tu, founder of the Flushing-based Kissena Democratic Club, said Cheng has the experience needed to represent the district.
“Unlike our past and present representatives, Austin has always led by example. He has been giving back to our country and community since his years in the Army and his tenure as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and he will use his legal and military experience to keep New York families safe,” Tu said in a statement. “Today as a small business leader, he understands the strain of inflation faced by small business owners and their families in Long Island and Queens. In Congress, Austin will advocate for tax reforms and federal support for housing and healthcare initiatives that benefit our region, ensuring that Queens and Long Island residents aren’t left behind.”
Cheng received a bachelor’s from Union College in Schenectady before graduating from Brooklyn Law School and getting a master’s in health administration from Cornell University.