Many Losses, Few Wins for Healthcare Candidates
Written by Editor   
Monday, November 21, 2016 12:00 AM

News Bite: The November elections included 39 doctors, nurses and dentist candidates.  While the ten incumbent physicians will be returning to congress, most of the other healthcare candidates were not successful.

The winners and losers in November’s election included candidates from the healthcare community, most of whom did not fare very well.  However, all of the current physician members of Congress who were seeking re-election will be returning.

These included Sen. Rand Paul, MD (R-Ky.) and representatives Ralph Abraham, MD (R-La.), Ami Bera, MD (D-Calif.), Larry Bucshon, MD (R-Ind.), Michael Burgess, MD (R-Texas), Scott DesJarlais, MD (R-Tenn.), Andy Harris, MD (R-Md.), Tom Price, MD (R-Ga.), David “Phil” Roe, MD (R-Tenn.), and Raul Ruiz, MD (D-Calif.).  

Here is an overview of the state contests across the nation:

In Alaska, a physician assistant, lost his write-in bid to challenge an incumbent who prevailed over four other candidates.

In Arizona’s District 2 congressional race, A Democrat MD, lost to a GOP incumbent garnering 43% of the vote compared with the incumbent’s 57%.

In California, the incumbent Republican beat Democrat physician for the District 4 congressional seat, garnering 62% of the votes to Democrat’s 38%. In that state’s District 18 congressional race, the Democrat incumbent defeated a Republican physician 72% to 28%. In District 33, the Republican incumbent bested a Republican physician by a vote of 66%-34%. The district 53 incumbent held onto her seat by the same margin, defeating her Republican physician challenger.

In Florida, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio won re-election, defeating a raft of candidates that included a physical therapist running without a party affiliation. In the state’s 25th District congressional race, the incumbent held onto his seat by winning 62% of the vote, compared with 38% of votes cast for a Democrat Physician. In the one race featuring two healthcare provider candidates — an open seat in District 18 — the Republican candidate defeated two Republic nurses.  However, a Republican physician defeated three other candidates to win the open congressional seat in District 2.

Over in Georgia, a Republican dentist, defeated a Democrat who described herself as “an independent contractor in the allied health care field;” the vote was 68% to 32%.

In Illinois, a Republican physician failed to unseat the incumbent Democrat in the state’s 7th congressional district, losing in a landslide, 84%-16%.

Louisiana saw two physicians vying for a senate seat. Under the state’s unusual “top-two primary system”, the top two vote-getters — a Republican physician and another Republican – will face one another in a run-off election later this year. Another physician-candidate did not make the cut. And neither did a Republican physician nor a Republican healthcare industry executive, do very well among the dozen candidates in the race: the physician received 2% of the vote while the executive got 8%. Meanwhile, in the race for a different legislative seat, the Republican physician received 18% of the vote, but that wasn’t enough to get him into the runoff.

In Maryland, a Republican physician failed to wrest the 3rd District congressional seat from the incumbent losing 34% to 63%. Likewise, another Republican physician failed to unseat the Democrat House Minority Whip in District 5.

In Michigan, neither physician candidate registered very high in the District 2 race to unseat the Republican incumbent who won re-election with 68% of the vote. A Libertarian physician garnered only 2.6% of the vote in that race, while an osteopathic physician of the U.S. Taxpayers Party got 0.92%. Also the Democrat incumbent defeated the Republican physician challenger to retain her seat by a vote of 79% to 19%.

In Missouri, an advanced practice nurse, lost a write-in bid to unseat a Republican senator who won re-election with 49% of the vote. In the 4th District congressional race a Democrat physician lost to the Republican incumbent by a vote of 28%-68%.

In Nebraska’s 1st congressional district, the Republican incumbent won re-election with 70% of the vote, defeating the challenger a Democrat physician who received 30%.

In Nevada, a Democrat, narrowly defeated the Republican osteopathic physician 47% to 45%; the medical physician write-in candidate got 1% of the vote.

In New Jersey’s 2nd congressional district, the incumbent Republican won re-election with 60% of the vote, defeating six other candidates including an Independent candidate physician. Another Democrat incumbent kept his seat in New Jersey’s 6th district, also beating a field of candidates that included a Green Party physician. In District 9, the Democrat incumbent won re-election with 70% of the vote, defeating the Republican physician challenger who received 28%.

In New York, A Democrat incumbent defeated a Republican nurse, by a vote of 64% to 31%.

In North Carolina’s Senate race, a Republican incumbent won re-election with 51% of the vote, edging the Democrat challenger who got 45%, as well as a physician Independent candidate.

In Oregon, the incumbent governor was re-elected with 50% of the vote, beating the Republican physician, a former state medical association president, with 43%. And another Democrat incumbent easily beat the Republican challenger, a nurse, to keep his seat in the 3rd congressional district; the vote was 72%-20%.

In Texas’s 10th District, Republican Rep. Michael McCaul won re-election with 57% of the vote, beating Democrat Tawana Cadien, a nurse, who received 38%. In the 33rd district, Democrat Rep. Marc Veasey kept his seat with a whopping 74% of the vote, defeating Republican Monte Mitchell, MD, who got 29%.

In Utah’s 1st congressional district, the Republican incumbent held onto his seat with 63% of the vote, defeating the Democrat physician with 29%.

And in Wyoming, Republican Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney, won the battle for the state’s only congressional seat with 62% of the vote, beating the Democrat, who received 30%, as well as a physician from the Constitution Party.