Raymond Louis "Ray" McKinney (born June 20, 1962) is a mechanical services manager from Savannah, Georgia, and was the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress from Georgia's 12th District in 2010. He was a candidate for U.S. President in the 2008 Republican primary, but withdrew on November 14, 2007.
Personal life, education and career
McKinney was born June 20, 1962 in Brackenridge, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Effingham County Public High School, where he was voted "most likely to become a nuclear scientist", McKinney had two years of Gulfstream Aerospace machinist training, two years Tool and Die, CFS machinist training, and (through 1990) two years at Savannah for Electro-Mechanical Engineering. He has been in the industry for the last 23 years. McKinney is currently a nuclear services manager for Continental Field Systems in Savannah. He and his wife Lisa live in Lyons on the McKinney family farm.
When asked about his educational and work experience, McKinney had this to say about his choice of career:
I think I prefer the term "machinist" above all but my wife thinks I put myself down by saying that. It is the proudest part of my skill set though. Her point is that people respect higher education and by telling people that I am a machinist that they have a lower opinion of who I am. Actually, I am quite proud of it.
His thoughts on skilled trades and why they are good knowledge and experience for someone to have:
Having a skill is like hitting the lottto. You will always have a job, you will always be able to earn a living. It is something that no one can ever take away. You can be a manager all you want, but if you ever go back to your tools you will always be able to find work. College is great but coupled with a skill, that is the golden ticket.
2008 Presidential campaign
McKinney, in a surprise performance, bested Sen. John McCain, Sen. Sam Brownback, and Rep. Tom Tancredo in the Texas Straw Poll held September 1, 2007, in Fort Worth, Texas. McKinney carried 28 delegate votes, or 2.2%.
Along with his mother, he gave complimentary blood pressure checks at a booth at the Fort Worth Convention Center during the straw poll, and addressed the delegates during the main session prior to voting along with candidates Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, Alabama psychiatrist Hugh Cort, and Illinois lawyer John H. Cox.
During his campaign, McKinney often had the highest ranking at U4Prez.com of all candidates registered with the Federal Election Commission. McKinney ended his bid for the presidential race on November 14, 2007, announcing his intention to run for U.S. Congress from Georgia. On July 15, 2008, McKinney lost the Republican primary to John Stone.
2010 Congressional campaign
In the Republican primary, McKinney and Thunderbolt Fire Chief Carl Smith, who earned 43% and 28% respectively, headed to a runoff. On July 25, 2010, Ray McKinney failed to appear for a debate against Smith. However, in the August 10th runoff, McKinney defeated Smith 62% to 38%.
- Effingham Herald, "He's Ray McKinney, and he's running for president", Effingham Herald, June 25, 2007
- Gainesville Daily Register, September 7, 2007, page 1
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "Some voters upset at no-shows", September 1, 2007, page 10B
- Peterson, Larry (2010-03-30). "Ray McKinney making second bid for Barrow's congressional seat". savannahnow.com. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "7/20/2010 - Federal and Statewide". Sos.georgia.gov. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- "8/10/2010 - Federal and Statewide". Sos.georgia.gov. 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Ray McKinney for Congress official campaign site
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Campaign contributions from OpenSecrets.org