By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Businessman and former U.S. Army Captain Clayton Hinchman is running for Congress in the 5th Congressional District. The 5th Congressional District is currently represented by Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, and Brooks has also qualified setting up for a contested Republican primary.
“The top job of the congressman for this district should be working as an ambassador for the district in recruiting jobs for North Alabama and creating a thriving business environment by working with local leaders in each area to have a focused vision for North Alabama,” Hinchman wrote on his website. “Creating jobs starts by having an office that is open for business. Companies that are looking to create opportunities throughout the United States need to know that our office will be open to every discussion and will look at every option to bring in business, and will work with existing businesses to help in growth.”
Hinchman said that as a small businessman who has created jobs in the private sector, he knows that one of the major hindrances in creating new jobs in this country is the complicated and bloated tax code.
Hinchman is an Iraq War veteran who was wounded in combat.
“As someone who has actually been on the front lines, I understand the importance of supporting the warfighter,” Hinchman wrote. “National Defense and space exploration has been the backbone of the 5th district for many years. Continued support for these federal programs and contracts will be vital in the continuation of our success and the expansion of our footprint.”
Hinchman promised that he will work with leaders of major defense companies to ensure that they are aware of the resources available in North Alabama so that from Florence to Scottsboro, we will be on the map.
As a wounded warrior, Hinchman said that he knows firsthand the issues facing veterans dealing with the VA. “This is not only a veteran’s issue, but with mismanagement and outdated policies, this is an American issue that has influenced everyone. Veterans in North Alabama should not have to drive to Birmingham to receive regular care. To be productive members of society, our veterans should have convenient and adequate healthcare. Customer service should be the first and foremost quality that the VA is known for. Currently, veterans are not treated with the respect they deserve in the VA that people would come to expect in private sector.”
Hinchman promised to push to give veterans private health provider options, to increase funding for mental health care and to work to create a program within the VA that will create and bridge strong relationships with individuals suffering or suspected of suffering from PTSD, unemployment or drug addiction.
“Education is the future of America and North Alabama is no exception,” Hinchman said.
Hinchman says that he has spent his whole life furthering his education, from WestPoint, to Georgetown, to Vanderbilt. He says that he wants a strong education for his children and their generation and promises to work to invigorate our education systems by bringing 21st century technology to the classroom, and that he will work to build new schools to relieve overcrowding and support competition in education to allow parents to make the best decisions for their children’s education.
During his Army career, Hinchman was assigned to 10th Mountain Division and Special Operations Task Force 17. He earned his Airborne and Air Assault wings, and he graduated as the Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Ranger School. His military decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal. He medically retired from the Army as a captain due to critical wounds sustained during an improvised explosive attack while conducting a night raid to kill or capture Al Qaeda in Iraq.
As a private sector businessman, Clayton Hinchman is the former founder, president and CEO of USi. After successfully building a strong company, USi was acquired by the company Ignite in 2016. He now serves as the chief marketing officer responsible for all new business growth of the company.
Hinchman has an undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Masters from Georgetown University, continuing executive education certificate at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, and he graduated from the Goldman Sachs Small Business Program at Babson College.
He is a member of the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce, Huntsville Rotary Club, Business Council of Alabama, Employee Owned S Corporations of America and the Huntsville Hospital Foundation.
Clayton Hinchman has been married to Leslie Hinchman for over 11 years, raising their two daughters.
While only Hinchman and Congressman Brooks have qualified for the office, state Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison, has announced that he also is running for the seat. The deadline to formally qualify is Feb. 9.