September 15, 2005


 Minnesota veterinarian seeks U.S. Senate seat

By R. Scott Nolen

Posted Sept. 1, 2005

Come November 2006, Dr. Ford W. Bell could become the third veterinarian elected to the U.S. Senate. Dr. Bell is one of four candidates vying to be the Democratic nominee for the seat being vacated by Mark Dayton of Minneapolis.

Dr. Bell spoke at the AVMA Political Action Committee Congressional Club Luncheon, held July 17 during the AVMA Annual Convention in Minneapolis.

Dr. Ford W. Bell

Should his bid be successful, Dr. Bell of Wayzata, Minn., would join Drs. Wayne Allard and John Ensign—Republicans representing Colorado and Nevada, respectively—as the Senate's "veterinary caucus."

"I'm very proud to be running as a veterinarian," said Dr. Bell, an AVMA member, noting the important contributions of veterinary medicine in the areas of animal health, food safety, and biomedical research.

Dr. Bell received his DVM degree in 1982 from the University of Minnesota, where he did his internship and a residency in internal medicine. Additionally, he teaches at the university and is a board-certified veterinary oncologist.

On his Web site,, the candidate explains his reasons for running. "I am running because I am a Democrat, and I have always believed that the Democratic Party stands for fairness, generosity of spirit, and the determination to help people improve their lives.

"I decided to run for the Senate because our leaders are pursuing what I consider to be a narrow agenda in search of narrow ground to benefit those in our society who are most successful. I decided to run because I believe passionately that we are witnessing the diminishment of America, the trivialization of our country, from big thinking and great visions to meaningless fights over abortion, gay marriage, and one poor woman in Florida.

"I am running for this Senate seat because no other candidate has my background of community service across a broad spectrum of causes and organizations."

For the past decade, Dr. Bell has served as president of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. He is a grandson of one of the founders of General Mills and is active in his family foundation, the James Ford Bell Foundation.

After the AVMAPAC luncheon, several thousand dollars were raised for Dr. Bell's campaign at a fundraiser hosted by the AVMA and Minnesota VMA.