by Will Cavell, c/o 2020
Today is November 6th, and that means midterm elections are finally here! Did you go practice your civic duty by voting? Before heading over to cast that ballot, be sure to familiarize yourself with the candidates and issues at hand. Your vote can make all the difference in the implementation of laws and your representation in office. Don’t think your vote will matter? Think again! Texas might not have become part of the United States back in 1845 had one Senator voted differently. The vote in the U.S. Senate was 27-25 to annex Texas to U.S. In addition, just last year in a Virginia state election, a deadlock tie warranted the old fashion method of picking out of a hat to determine a winner. After each candidate received 11,608 votes, an old Virginia law dictates that luck will be the deciding factor. Don’t let luck be the deciding factor; go out and vote, make a difference, and let your voice be heard.
As healthcare professionals in the field of dentistry, you should be ecstatic in knowing that SEVEN dentists tossed their hats into the midterm elections for U.S. Congress this year! With more dentists getting involved in government, you can count on our voices being heard in the future for the betterment of our profession and care of our patients. Unfortunately in the two primary elections held prior to the midterms, Dr. Fred Costello and Dr. Gary Wegman were not victorious; however, five dentists will have their political fates decided after the ballots are counted. Take a moment to look at the brave dentists putting the care in the carious fight!
Rep. Mike Simpson
District: 2nd District
Dental School: Washington University School of Dental Medicine in St Louis
-Dr. Simpson is a Republican pursuing re-election for his position in the House of Representatives.
-Pursuing his eleventh term in Congress, Rep. Simpson currently is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. He also serves on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee and the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee.
Rep. Paul Gosar
District: 4th District
Dental School: Creighton Boyne School of Dentistry
-Dr. Gosar is a Republican seeking re-election for his position in the House of Representatives.
-Pursuing his fifth term in Congress, Rep. Gosar is a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He is also chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources and vice chair of the Subcommittee on the Interior.
Rep. Brian Babin
District: 36th District
Dental School: University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston
-Dr. Babin is a Republican seeking re-election for his position in the House of Representatives.
-Pursuing his third term in Congress, Rep. Babin serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He is also chair of the House Subcommittee on Space.
Rep. Drew Ferguson
District: 3rd District
Dental School: Medical College of Georgia
-Dr. Ferguson is a Republican seeking re-election for his position in the House of Representatives.
-Pursuing his second term in Congress, Rep. Ferguson is currently on the House Budget Committee, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Education and Workforce Committee.
Dr. Jeff Van Drew
State: New Jersey
District: 2nd District
Dental School: Fairleigh Dickinson School of Dental Medicine
-Dr. Van Drew is running as a Democrat in New Jersey’s 2nd District, designated as the state’s most southern district.
-Practicing dentistry in Pleasantville, N.J., Dr. Van Drew is also serving a state senator in the 1st district.
**The two dentists below did not get through the primary elections
Dr. Fred Costello
District: 6th District
Dental School: University of Iowa School of Dentistry
-Dr. Costello ran as a Republican in Florida’s 6th District but did not win the August 28 primary.
-Originally from Ormond Beach, Fla., where he formerly served as mayor, Dr. Costello has also been a two-time Florida state representative.
Dr. Gary Wegman
District: 9th District
Dental School: University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
-Dr. Wegman ran as a Democrat in Pennsylvania’s 9th district but did not win the May 15 primary.
-Dr. Wegman practices dentistry in Reading, Pa. and has plans to run again in 2020.