Republican Elizabeth Heng has stoked controversy stateside with a campaign video seemingly denouncing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx/Queens), whose photograph is lit on fire, while transitioning to visuals of the Cambodian genocide led by the Khmer Rouge.
During the Houston Democratic Debate, showing live at primetime on ABC, Heng aired a national television ad sponsored by a new political action committee known as New Faces GOP.
“My father was minutes from death in Cambodia before a forced marriage saved his life. That’s socialism: Forced obedience. Starvation,” Heng narrates to visuals from the ’70s genocide.
“Mine is a face of freedom, my skin is not white, I’m not outrageous, racist, nor socialist. I’m a Republican,” she concluded.
Ocasio-Cortez twice responded to the ad, criticizing Heng, first with mild bemusement. She later added a note that the spot was “a love letter to the GOP’s white supremacist case.”
Heng was born in 1985 to parents who arrived in the United States as refugees from Cambodia. Growing up, Heng worked in her parents’ grocery store in Fresno, California. After graduating from Stanford University, Heng opened a T-Mobile franchise in Fresno with her brothers, eventually growing to 15 locations.
Heng’s first job in politics was as a regional victory director for the Republican Party of Oregon in 2010. She later moved to Washington, D.C., where she became a staffer in the office of Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.). Heng served as Royce’s deputy campaign manager in the 2012 election. That year, Heng also worked as an event coordinator in Nevada with the Republican National Committee.
Following the 2012 elections, Heng joined the staff of the House Foreign Affairs Committee as chief of protocol and member outreach. The Senate Rules Committee appointed Heng as director of congressional staff volunteers for President Donald Trump’s (R) inauguration ceremony. In 2017, Heng left Congress and returned to Fresno. (Source)