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Cliff's 900sqft childhood home


Cliff Heinzer grew up in a working-class neighborhood at a time when a full-time job, even at the minimum wage, paid the bills and put food on the table. Willingness to work meant a living wage, benefits, and the expectation that your kids would do even better.  

After graduating from Cornell, Cliff began a career that would see him serve America in the Far East, Latin America, Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.  

In the Army, he led as a Ranger-Qualified infantry officer, then in the Special Forces as a Green Beret Operational Detachment Alpha.

In the Foreign Service for the US State Department, he analyzed the politics of foreign governments while overseas, and focused on U.S. policy in the Middle East while in Washington. His gained valuable experience in several critical areas:

  • Countering violent extremism.

  • Directing U.S. counter-narcotics efforts in the Golden Triangle, including support to law enforcement, addiction treatment, and supply reduction programs.

  • Bolstering border security and coordinating civilian efforts to improve governance in Afghanistan.

  • Supervising legal immigration programs.

  • Working closely with the Department of Defense.

A member of organized labor for 25 years, he is also a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Special Forces Association.  Cliff recently ended his tenure as Political Action Chair of the NAACP’s Stafford Branch.

Cliff earned the Imjin Scout badge for his work along the Korean DMZ

Since his departure from federal service, he has worked as an instructor for the Army, but the majority of his time has been devoted to volunteering and political activism, advocating for school funding, campaigning for candidates he supports, and serving as the Chair of the Stafford County Democratic Committee.  To the greatest extent possible, Cliff reaches across the aisle to find common ground.  

He resides in Stafford with his wife Tuanta, a federal retiree and naturalized U.S. citizen.

Cliff running a Stafford Democrats meeting
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