Berkeley universities

Buckner in the running for the Clyburn seat

by Melissa McCoy

Colleton County native Dwayne “Duke” Buckner is officially running as a Republican for the 6th congressional district against incumbent and longtime politician James Clyburn (D-Orangeburg). Buckner is an attorney who has practiced law for 10 years at his own firm, Buckner Law Firm. He is also a former real estate agent, businessman and teacher.

Buckner last week explained why he is running against a career politician and why he wants to represent Clarendon and surrounding counties in Congress. “We must bring progress and prosperity to the 6th congressional district,” he said. “I come from here. The conditions of the neighborhood have been like this for 30 years. People need jobs, people need a reason to live where they are. Education has suffered in terms of standards, and our students are not as well prepared as they could be for the challenges they are going to face. »

Buckner says he wants to focus on three things during his term: economic development and growth for all, reducing crime and improving education. He decided on these three goals after talking to people in the 6th arrondissement, he said.

“We have the lowest income of any other district in the state with the poorest counties in the state… They call it the ‘hallway of shame’ and there’s no reason why. so be it when we have I95, we have a reasonable land price, and we have people who want to work and who are willing to work. Buckner is adamant about refocusing on bringing businesses into the 6th District and believes Clyburn has failed in this aspect of governance. “I think Mr. Clyburn’s focus was not on those forgotten counties,” Buckner said. “His focus has been historic preservation and cultural enrichment and ensuring that historically black colleges and universities are funded. And he recognized people in the community. However, when it comes to economic development and growth, that has not been his goal. He has been effective in his efforts, but it is time to change direction.

Buckner links an increase in crime to a decline in the availability of jobs and economic growth. “Crime is on the rise throughout the district. Drug use, overdoses. These problems are a result of the fact that when you don’t have a job, you don’t have money, you are more likely to get involved in crime.

When explaining the need for safe streets and neighborhoods, Buckner is a supporter of community policing and contributed to it while serving on Walterboro City Council. “We have to support law enforcement. We need to make sure that we practice community policing… that officers know the people they serve by living in the community they serve. Buckner would also support

de-escalation training for officers so that citizens of the 6th district feel safer dealing with local police.

Buckner’s third problem, improving education, is one he knows very well. Buckner is a former Colleton County public school teacher and witnessed the challenges educators face in that state. While insisting that Title 1 funding needs to be reassessed, Buckner points out how broken the current system is. “We need to look at it because that’s where the federal, the level I’ll be working at, gets involved in education…students or teachers and districts have an incentive to stay poor because that’s how you get funding: based on economics. So that needs to change. I think funding should be based on performance, not on your economic status.”

Buckner is also an advocate of school choice, saying “the money should follow the child, not the institution. We need competition in public education. It will improve public schools, improve everything.

It all comes down to leadership, says Buckner, who calls the incumbent’s government “stagnant,” lacking growth and jobs. “The problem is leadership. The people are there. They are ready. My goal is to be a salesman for the 6th congressional district. Other parts of the state are booming…Berkeley County, Greenville County, Horry County…why not us? We have the people.

“Instead of our children and our children’s children leaving the district and us having to drive to see them, let’s build a community where they can live, thrive and stay, if they choose. We need progress and prosperity, for all.

Buckner, 49, has a campaign office in Orangeburg and just opened an additional office in Walterboro on April 14. He will also host numerous fundraisers and speeches throughout the 6th Congressional District, including Clarendon County. More information can be found on its website at www.voteforduke.com.

Buckner previously served on the Walterboro City Council and the SC Commission for the Blind. He also ran unsuccessfully in the June 2020 U.S. Senate Republican primary against incumbent Lindsey Graham.