Clyde Elrod, a Braselton resident and Cedar Shoals high school graduate, entered the Democratic primary for U.S. Congressional District 10.
District 10 encompasses 25 counties, including Oconee, and parts of Barrow, Gwinnett and Clarke. It is currently represented by Republican Jody Hice.
The 29-year-old is a subcontractor and project manager in electrical work and “a hardworking guy that has gotten tired of Congress not doing their job and lying to the American people,” according to his website.
“I’ve always really wanted to run for office … the more I looked at it, the more I realized that I could be a lot more for my community by running for Congress, and that would be a great way to help out,” Elrod said.
Reducing health care costs, preserving green spaces and ending the “costly” and “ineffective” “war on drugs” are among the key issues for Elrod’s campaign.
The topic of healthcare holds “a lot” of Elrod’s focus as his wife is a nurse at the Barrow County Health Department and several of their friends are in the nursing field. Elrod also works “closely” and performs electrical projects with Emory Hospital.
On his healthcare platform Elrod focuses on the necessity of vaccinations. He advocates for required vaccines and a national database — rather than the current state-by-state database.
“If you move once or multiple times, it could take a long time to get your record or it could go missing,” Elrod said on his website. “This is vital information for the people and doctors.”
Regarding the “war on drugs”, Elrod said he would invest money in community rehabilitation services and mental health care initiatives.
“There’s two parts to the equation on drugs. You have the supply side and the demand,” Elrod said. “We’ve been focused on the supply side so long. I would like to instead focus on the demand [side] and focus on our community.”
Elrod also proposed a non-traditional form of constituent interaction, if elected. Eager to be open to his district, he said he wants to open questions about congressional votes on his website and through city and county managers, to allow constituents to give their opinion on how he should cast his vote and why.
When asked what sets him apart from other primary candidates, Elrod cited his blue-collar background.
“The only way I moved up in life was working hard and learning on my own, and because of that, my attitude is more like that of a lot of people in our districts,” said Elrod.
The Democratic Congressional primary will be held on May 19.