The Gainesville Times is presenting candidates’ positions on local issues in print editions ahead of the Nov. 8 election. Early voting begins Oct. 17.

Mike Ford


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Mike Ford

Residence: Gainesville

Occupation: lawyer

Political experience: first run for office

Family: Married with a son and grandson


Candidates on economy

How can Congress act to improve the economy, with issues still looming, such as inflation and supply chain delays?

Clyde: He supports House Republicans’ “Commitment to America” plan, a four-pronged platform outlining party goals, including “an economy that’s strong.” “In order to fight inflation and lower the cost of living, we have to curb wasteful government spending that’s increasing (prices) and growing our national debt. … It’s the biggest issue in the entire district.”

Ford: “I don’t think there’s any simple plan to fix inflation. Inflation was caused by the actions of us all. When demand is high, prices go up. When demand is low, prices go down. I don’t think there’s anything in particular that the president, governors or congressmen can do, particularly in this environment where people are not in a mood to cooperate.”

Candidates on Ukraine

What’s your assessment of the Ukraine War and future U.S. involvement in the conflict?

Clyde: He believes that President Biden made a “critical, strategic error” by pledging from the outset not to deploy ground troops to Ukraine. “It might be (U.S.) policy we are not going to put troops on the ground, but you don’t tell the enemy that.” Otherwise, “it’s very important not to allow Russia to eliminate Ukraine’s sovereignty. I think (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s end game is to restore the Russian dominion over that area. Giving them armament, I think, is a good thing.”

Ford: “It appears to me the biggest mistake Putin made was he underestimated the resilience of the Ukrainians and their drive for freedom and overestimated his ability to destroy them.” The U.S., meanwhile, “has the duty to ourselves and the globe to try to ensure that democracy survives, and these things come with a price tag. … Billions and billions of dollars (in Ukraine aid) is the price.”

Candidates on abortion legislation

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has said he will introduce legislation that would effectively create a national abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy. What’s your view of this potential bill in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning Roe v. Wade, a ruling that returns the issue to the states?

Clyde: “I don’t think it goes far enough,” he said referring to Georgia’s “Heartbeat Bill,” which bans abortion once a heartbeat is detected, or around 6 weeks. He goes on to cite the Declaration of Independence, in which life is mentioned as the first “unalienable right.” “There’s an avenue for the government to do what it’s supposed to do — protect life.”

Ford: “After half a century, we’re taking (away) a woman’s rights to make decisions for her own body. (GOP) nonsense about this being a state’s rights issue is revealed as the lie that it always was. This is not what the women of the 9th District want and deserve. It’s very clear that abortion is an issue that has to be dealt with as a freedom issue and a health care issue.”

Candidates on firearms laws

With mass shootings in the news this year, what legislation, if any, do you favor concerning purchasing, owning and using guns? Explain your answer.

Clyde: “There have been some incredible tragedies that have happened,” but he noted the Second Amendment declares the “right to bear arms shall not be infringed.” “That is a very strong clause, so that’s what we as the government need to be focusing on.” He has introduced legislation that would “take the taxation out of the Second Amendment.” “How can you tax a constitutional right?”

Ford: “Much to the chagrin of some of my Democratic folks, I’m a gun guy, but I don’t think people understand what’s happening (in mass shootings), which is domestic terrorism. People don’t seem to grasp the idea that when somebody goes to a school to kill as many children as they can, I fail to see what difference it makes as to what (weapon) they use. … This is a domestic terrorism problem that’s being misconstrued as a guns issue.”