News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, July 30, 2013
EVANS, Ga. (WRDW) -- He doesn't look like the other candidates or sound like them, but an Augusta businessman believes he's got what it takes to be Georgia's next United States senator. His name is Eugene Yu.
"Well, here I am," Yu said with a smile. "You got me. Let me see if you really want a change. I'm a very traditional conservative Republican."
Yu may be a new face in Georgia politics, but he's been in Augusta for years. His friends from the Butler High School class of '74 called him Chin Yu. The former firefighter and Richmond County deputy took the name Eugene when he became a U.S. citizen and joined the Army.
"As time goes on, I look around my country, my society. To me, the American Dream is slipping away," Yu said.
News 12 sat down in his study to talk about his biggest dream -- becoming a senator.
"Somebody's got to do something," Yu said. "So why not? I've never run for public office, but I have common sense."
To call it an uphill battle would be an understatement. He'll have to spend millions and defeat three congressmen -- Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston -- just to win the Republican primary.
"I know it's not going to be easy," Yu said, "but I'm willing to try my best and I'm going to go for it for the people."
Talking about a political hero will tell you a lot about where he stands on the issues.
"Is there someone in politics who inspires you? Someone you would say, 'I want to be like' -- who?" asked News 12's Richard Rogers.
"President Ronald Reagan is my hero. I still miss him today. I think we need a leader like that," Yu said.
Yu and his wife, Jonie, have been married 34 years. They have two grown children and live in Evans. Although he already announced his candidacy in Atlanta, he plans to make it official before a crowd of local supporters in Augusta on Thursday evening.
Click the video link above to watch the full interview with Yu.