Fresh, optimistic leadership

By: By Ray Craig - For The Union Times
Ray Craig

I’m Ray Craig, a better choice for the US House.

As I have gone to each of the 10 counties which make up SC’s 5th district this spring, I have been met with enthusiasm. “At last! An alternative to a career politician” people say. Yep.

I grew up in Clover and live now in Lake Wylie. In March, I began my bid to represent you and the other 663,000 citizens at York County’s courthouse, seat of local government. There I said we need practical steps forward, rather than vain gestures from a hard right perch. We need leadership, not posturing.

The other guy’s extreme right; I’m just right! Politicians talk, but leaders lead.

* * *

People ask, “Why are you running for office?”

I’m risking this run because I grew up in a military home. I saw Dad lead as a colonel in the US Army. I saw Mom lead in a different — but just as important — way by teaching Laotian boat people how to read, giving hospitality and raising a precocious little fellow.

I threw my hat in the ring against a lawyer (130 House members are lawyers, by the way. No wonder we’re in a mess.) Like you, I didn’t like what I saw going on in Washington … and decided to make the effort. I hope you will honor it by entrusting me with your vote.

What pushed me over the top was reading JFK’s Profiles in Courage. I didn’t know that it was a book about senators making tough votes. As a result, many lost their place in the capital.

“That kind of leadership is what we need,” I thought. Not showboating. Not voting on behalf of rich folk. Not following an inflexible ideology.

But making decisions on behalf of what’s best for all.

* * *

Many things need to change in our nation’s capital. What I think tops the list may surprise you: civility. It’s time our elected officials at the national level had some adult supervision.

Should you entrust me with national office, I will work well with all my colleagues, not just a handful of caucus boys. That means getting to know people who live in a far different part of the country. Further, it means actually cooperating with reps who hold far different views than we do.

I’ll spend time in your neck of the woods to hear local solutions, not dictate from on high. We’ve had enough of that nonsense during the past eight years.

I was in a barbershop last week, having met many young men in and around it. One refined gentlemen was in the chair. After a while he stopped giving me his two cents about what needs to be changed and said, “You’re listening! You’re actually listening.”

Wouldn’t you love having a man in DC listen rather than lecture?

* * *

The biggest issues are Global Terrorism threatening us from without and Political Correctness tearing us apart from within.

I will address whatever serves the national interest and the betterment of SC’s 5th District.

Priorities: slimming down our Jabba the Hutt entitlement state, trimming back the kudzu of regulation after regulation, and reducing taxes.

Did you know over half our budget goes to entitlement spending? We’ve got to slow that down by making sure each buck going out is earned, not taken.

This administration has added more red tape to the Federal Register since FDR! I will encourage the small business owner, not try to strangle him or her with silly rules and needless intrusion.

How in the world do we compete when America has the highest tax rate in the Developed World? And don’t you believe you can spend your own money better than Uncle Sam can?

* * *

As I go into the primary on Flag Day, I’m thankful to have learned a few lessons in leadership along the way: in Clover High School, at Clemson as an undergrad, in my time selling industrial equipment, years in the not-for-profit realm or even now as I see more of the real world than the incumbent ever has in my role as a simple grocery store clerk serving the next customer well.

I offer that varied life experience as a boy who grew up in a SC mill town and still embrace the values learned in church, many a family conversation and by hard work.

I’m Ray Craig, a better choice for SC’s 5th District.

Fresh. Optimistic. Leadership. That’s what I’ll provide.

Ray Craig Craig
Craig running for US House District 5 seat

By Ray Craig

For The Union Times

Ray Craig is running for the Republican nomination for US House District 5 in Tuesday’s primary.

Ray Craig is running for the Republican nomination for US House District 5 in Tuesday’s primary.