The latest Ninth District Candidate Clifton McDuffie paid a visit to Gilmer County last Friday, January 13th.
The cold, blustery day and snow flurries swirling in low temperatures seemed to have kept a large crowd from showing up to hear the candidate speak. Only a hand full of voters showed up to hear the candidate talk at a local restaurant.
Like the other candidates, McDuffie started the session by talking about his experience. For McDuffie, his experience has been as president of various chambers of commerce, where his last chamber position was the Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce, which he left in 1992. Since then, he has operated his own consulting business, which he describes as privatizing his work with the chamber. Emphasizing his career, he said that he was hired to work with the Chamber of Commerce in Fitzgerald, Georgia at age 24. There, he was involved in bringing the first industrial park into the state. Later, with the Albany Chamber, McDuffie said he helped recruit a $54 million Firestone Plant, creating 1500 jobs and two years later helped bringing in a Procter and Gamble Plant which created approximately 2000 jobs. McDuffie said that he later went on to work as Marketing Officer with The First National Bank of Albany and then eventually ran his own business. But, one voter, Kurt, was concerned whether McDuffie’s chamber experience could translate into congressional success, suggesting that he could do more good in his current position rather than in Washington.
As the morning progressed, more concerns arose. When Tea Party Communications Director Jack Smith asked McDuffie what he thought about Agenda 21, The George Soros plan for global socialism, the candidate said,
“I’m not that familiar with it.”
Later, one voter asked about the Dodd-Frank Bill and McDuffie said that he has not looked into real close. Ninth District voters fear these items will creep into the district, washing away individual freedoms.
Through the course of the conversation, McDuffie referred to his relationship with Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, two politicians seen as establishment Republicans, moderates at best and not up-holding Tea Party and Constitutional principles. One voter confronted this association.
“I sense a little concern,” she noted, “about crossing wires with some of your colleagues (Isakson and Chambliss); to do the job we’re looking to have done, you may have to put your neck on the line.”
“You can be friends with people and vote ‘no’.”
In an interview with FYN following the session, voters were left unsatisfied.
“I think he avoided a lot of questions,”
Kurt said, while Mr. Smith seemed disappointed with the candidate’s lack of knowledge of the pressing issues.
“He needs to get more up to date on the things confronted by federal representatives…There are issues that he needs to get better schooled on,”
Although, the election is seven months away, time is ticking. Voters will no longer tolerate talking points; generalities will no longer generate enthusiasm. Now is the time for fleshed-out ideas, specific solutions, and a rejection of the status quo.
Watch McDuffie field questions from voters and see the source of voter’s concerns. In the video below see and hear why McDuffie has decided to enter the race and why he believes he is qualified for the position.