Dr. Bill Clifford remains pro-life, pro-military and pro-border control from his years in the military to serving as an ophthalmologist in Garden City.


On Thursday, Clifford, who is running for congress in the Big First district of Western Kansas, spoke with members of the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce. Clifford, who resides in Garden City, believes Kansas can grow local economies through lower taxes and less regulation.


When Hutchinson resident and fellow retired U.S. Air Force member Don Moody asked Clifford how he proposes to “fix this mess,” Clifford told him he will continue to back President Donald Trump.


The current representative of the 1st Congressional District is Roger Marshall (R), who has entered the race for the Senate seat vacated by Sen. Pat Roberts.


Other candidates in the Republican primary for the Big First district include Tracey Mann, Jerry Molstad and Michael Soetaert. Democratic primary candidates include Kali Barnett, Christy Davis and Brandon Williams.


Clifford, who has an endorsement from With Honor, a nationwide veteran’s group, served 10 years in the U.S. Air Force, flying an F-15 Eagle Fighter.


“It was an honor to serve,” said Clifford, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy.


After becoming a physician, Clifford and his wife Jean, who also served in the U.S. military, decided Southwest Kansas was the perfect place to raise a family. Now 25 years later, he is currently in the middle of his second term as a county commissioner and serves as the Republican Party Chair in Finney County. Philanthropy is also important to Clifford; he helped start the Western Kansas Community Foundation and provides money for scholarships at a local community college and donates to other organizations, including the Air Force Academy Foundation.


Along with healthcare, Clifford supports agriculture. He is an investor with the local ethanol plant and has raised chickens and horses and was involved, along with his six children, in 4H.


If elected, Clifford plans to sit on the Agriculture Committee and become a member of the Doctors Caucus, which helps congress understand healthcare issues.


“I think markets are the key for Kansas agriculture,” Clifford said. “Our president has worked hard on USMCA and unilateral trade deals with other countries. I also think working with the domestic market is important.”


Clifford also hopes to cut the red tape in Washington, especially in how meat is processed.


“I think there is enough money in processing, but the table is a little tilted towards the big processing plants,” he said. “We need to take action to level the playing field to help our producers in Kansas. ”


Clifford also wants to bring more hemp processing plants to Kansas.