Citing ‘Trump fatigue,’ Democratic doctor plans run for Congress against Republican Dr. Phil Roe

Dr. Martin Olsen, an East Tennessee State University ObGyn professor and medical practitioner, says he intends to run for the Democratic nomination to the 1st Congressional District seat now held by Republican U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, also a physician, reports the Johnson City Press.

“I think I can win,” Olsen said rather earnestly. “Now, am I an underdog? Well, yes, I am an underdog. There’s no doubt about that. But the path to victory is to get about one-third of the (Donald) Trump voters. I think there’s enough Trump fatigue that it’s legitimate.”

Olsen’s preliminary game plan also includes swaying 90 percent of those who voted Democrat or Independent during the last election, as well as sparking those who chose to stay at home. 

“I think there is a path to victory and it’s achievable,” Olsen said. 

Unsurprisingly enough with his medical background, Congress’ recent debate over upending the Affordable Care Act actually spurred Olsen to action.

“The thought that 22 million people might lose access to their health care because they didn’t have insurance was, just to me, wrong and offensive,” Olsen said.

The West Virginia native said the urge to run for Congress came to him rather swiftly.

“I’m driving down the road listening to the radio saying, ‘You know, somebody ought to do something (about health care).’ Well, then it came to me that maybe I’m that ‘somebody,’ ” Olsen recalled.

In his opinion, Olsen believes America’s health care system will eventually replicate the United Kingdom’s single-payer system.

 

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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