Portraying himself as an “ordinary guy” running to restore true representation to Georgia’s 12th District, Savannah engineering consultant Ray McKinney officially qualified Wednesday as a Republican candidate for Congress.
“Some so-called political experts have dubbed me the underdog in this race, but that’s okay,” said McKinney, “After all, East Georgians like to root for the underdog.”
McKinney, an Effingham County High School alumnus, says he believes he’s the best candidate to beat the Democratic nominee in November, either incumbent John Barrow or state Sen. Regina Thomas.
“One of my Republican opponents moved from Washington, D.C., to run and the other is a controversial former radio talk show host.” said McKinney. “My advantage is that a lot of voters want a congressman who will take on the old ‘politics -as-usual’ crowd, which is what I want to do.”
McKinney pointed out that he’s already proved that hard work, commitment and innovative ideas can take a person a long way, adding, “I started out as a blue collar tool-and-dye maker and eventually became vice president of Continental Field Systems, a multi-million dollar energy services company,”
In February and March, McKinney walked 450 miles throughout the 12th District, and he said the journey helped get his name and message out.
“I can’t tell you how many people have told me they saw my picture in their local paper or heard me on a radio show,” he said. “I walked this district from town to town and talked with the real people on the ground. Television, radio, and slick mailings can’t build personal relationships. My feet and legs are still sore. Fortunately, I also lost a few inches around my waste in the process.”
McKinney said he learned a lot when he talked with the working folks of the district during his walk.
“I met Republicans, Democrats, and independents who are hungry for a new kind of Congressman with common sense who will listen to them — one who does more than just spout the usual political rhetoric,” he said. “I talked and listened to breadwinners concerned about their jobs and paying high gasoline prices to commute to work, mothers dealing with skyrocketing food prices, truckers who can’t afford to fill their diesel tanks, farmers who can’t afford the fertilizer they need. It’s these folks, not the special interests that I will represent when I get to Congress.”