Column: Making a prediction on Jeff Duncan’s future

August 31, 2018

Bob Ruddy sat at the monthly Aiken Republican Club luncheon Tuesday and, knowing I’m a sports guy, started asking me about my high school football predictions and my thoughts on how I’m doing.

“Right at 8-8,” I said. “I’m staying on an even path.”

Ruddy, who is County Council member Camille Furgiuele’s campaign manager, asked me what my predictions were for this week.

I wasn’t sure at that moment. I haven’t really looked at the games.

One prediction I will make, though, is the club’s guest speaker, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., will continue to climb the ladder.

Duncan, the Republican representing South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, spoke to the club about everything from the Savannah River Site to the president to missing Aiken County as part of his district.

He represented Aiken County until 2012 when the congressional districts went from six to seven. U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., absorbed all of Aiken County during the redistricting.

At no time during Duncan’s 43-minute talk did he mince any words, go in another direction or soften his speech.

He was direct and to the point, a straight-shooter with those at Newberry Hall.

“Savannah River Site is looking for new missions, and I continue to look for new missions for the Site,” he said.

And considering he’s on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, and looking out for the Site, that’s strong in eyes of Aiken County residents.

He went on to talk about our president and gave his own breakdown.

“I’m proud of this president,” he said. “Now, I’m not proud about what he says or how he says it, and maybe not proud of what he’s done in the past. But from the time he was sworn into office until now, he has kept his eye on the Americans.”

Of course, Duncan backed the president on building a wall for border security, not because of illegal immigrants.

“You can put your manpower in the mountains to really start thwarting the activity of the drug traffickers and the ISIS and Al-Qaeda elements that come into our country and our president understands that,” he said.

Duncan went on to talk about how the economy is doing better, the stock market is up and how tax reform is helping retirees.

Duncan addressed the U.S. deficit with what he “hopes for going forward.” And he is beginning to take action.

“We are $22 trillion in debt,” he said. “We are not hearing this president, you’re not hearing Congress talk about debt. I challenged leadership in our conference about a month ago, that we have tax reform done, we’re humming along, now let’s go back and think about the spending side of our equation and our debt.”

Duncan wants to reverse spending, work on gaining a surplus and “instead of spending every stinkin’ dollar that comes into this nation, we should be like we do in our homes and business and take that surplus and let’s start paying the credit line down.”

In calling out his colleagues in Congress to start addressing the deficit he just put it plainly: “I’m alarmed.”

There were those in attendance who started shouting “2020” in reference to, perhaps, a U.S. Senate run and then ... maybe, who knows.

Duncan says he’s not sure yet on what he’ll do or what the future holds.

I’m just making the prediction he will, and I’ll say right now, win.

I am an even 50-50 in predictions, though.

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