Clifford says he has lived his conservative values
Bill Clifford, one of four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the Kansas 1st District Congressional seat, made a campaign stop in Concordia on Wednesday.
Clifford is an ophthalmologist from Garden City. He served 10 years in the United States Air Force before making the decision to go into medicine.
Living in Garden City for the past 25 years, Clifford was elected to the Finney County board of commissioners in 2014 and served four terms on the Garden City Community College board of trustees.
The other Republicans attempting to replace Congressman Roger Marshall, who is running for Pat Roberts' U.S. Senate Seat, include Tracey Mann, Jerry Molstad and Michael Soetaert.
Clifford said that he and Mann are considered the two frontrunners in the race.
“I am a little bit older. I have lived my values,” Clifford said of what sets him apart from the other three candidates. “Being on the Republican side is about being the most conservative candidate in the race. I feel like I have lived those values. All of my values, whether it is support of the Second Amendment or support of ag or support of our president, are based on living those values and not just talking about them.”
Clifford said that, as a physician, if he is elected he would go to Congress as part of the doc caucus and have a voice in health care in Washington.
“We have visited 15 rural hospitals during the campaign. I know it is under the radar, but I consider that to be very much the lifeblood of our communities. I will defend rural health care, and I will fight for rural health care and our patients.”
To help bring down the high cost of health care coverage for Kansans, Clifford proposed allowing insurers to cross state lines.
“We have a monopoly here in Kansas. I think we need transparency and we need portability. We need to let insurers go across state lines,” Clifford said, “The way we have that restricted, we have no negotiating power against a monopoly insurance company. That is particularly harsh here in Kansas.”
Clifford said that he would plan to serve on the House agriculture committee if elected.
“That is what the Big First is about,” Clifford said, “I have reached out on the issues and on how we can work with the Democratic majority in the House to be able to protect our producers here in Kansas.”
Living in Finney County, Clifford has seen first hand what a large coronavirus outbreak is like during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
There was a large outbreak at the Tyson Foods plant in the county, with a reported 571 cases.
“We were dealing with 60 to 80 new cases per day,” Clifford said, “For us, it was an all hands on deck approach. The CDC was there. The National Guard and our local resources all combined to really push back against the virus. To encourage our citizens to exercise responsibility, especially during the time away from work. Of course our employers had to make their decisions to protect their business and their employees. And since we have reopened in early June we have had a remarkable recovery of our economy and our maintenance of our workforce. But it has taken everybody to exercise responsibility for that.”
Clifford said that the communities that have citizens who are convinced that it matters what they do are the ones that have had the most success in battling the virus.