December 01, 2012

 

 Voters send two veterinarians to Congress

Newcomer Yoho elected; Schrader wins third term

 
Posted on November 19, 2012
 

Dr. Kurt Schrader​ Dr. Ted Yoho
 
Two veterinarians will be serving in the U.S. House of Representatives come Jan. 3.

Drs. Ted Yoho and Kurt Schrader won their respective congressional district races in Florida and Oregon by respectable margins in the general election Nov. 6. They are the only veterinarians serving in the upcoming 113th Congress.

Dr. Yoho, a Republican from Gainesville, Fla., won the state’s 3rd District election with nearly 65 percent of the vote after upsetting incumbent Cliff Stearns in the August primary. And in Oregon’s 5th District, Dr. Schrader, a Democrat from Canby, was elected to a third term with 54 percent of the vote.

“The AVMA is very excited that two veterinarians will be members of the House of Representatives in the 113th Congress,” AVMA President Doug Aspros said. “In addition to understanding issues as they relate to veterinarians, they are uniquely qualified to advance public policy related to animal health and welfare, public health, food safety, bio- and agro-terrorism, and small business issues.

“We look forward to working with Congressman Schrader and Congressman-elect Yoho on these and other important issues facing our country.”

Dr. Yoho is a large animal practitioner who had grown frustrated with Washington, D.C., and decided to enter the 3rd District’s Republican primary. He campaigned with the slogan “Had enough?” and ran on a Tea Party–style platform of limited government, fiscal responsibility, free enterprise, and personal responsibility.

Since graduating from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Yoho had spent more than three decades in private practice. Keeping costs low during the primary campaign, he spent only about $320,000 then. In contrast, Dr. Yoho’s opponent was Rep. Cliff Stearns, a 12-term incumbent with more than $2 million in campaign funds and supported by such conservative heavyweights as Michele Bachmann.

Dr. Yoho’s narrow defeat of Stearns stunned Washington and paved the way to his general election victory this November over the Democratic nominee by a margin of 64 percent to 32 percent. Dr. Yoho believes his veterinary knowledge and agricultural background would best be used on the House Committee on Agriculture.

Dr. Schrader was first elected Oregon’s 5th Congressional District representative in 2008 and won re-election in 2010. The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine graduate previously spent more than 30 years as an organic farmer and veterinary practice owner. He was also a member of the Oregon legislature from 1996 until his election to Congress.

Currently, Dr. Schrader serves on the House Agriculture Committee and Committee on Small Business and is ranking member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Finance and Tax. In addition, he chairs the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility and the New Democrat Coalition’s Health Care Task Force.

Dr. Schrader has been a reliable supporter of the AVMA’s legislative agenda, including expressing his opposition to the Fairness to Pet Owners Act. The AVMA is working to prevent this bill from being enacted because it would require veterinarians to provide written disclosure notifying pet owners that they may fill prescriptions through the prescriber or another pharmacy.

In the general election, Dr. Schrader beat his Republican challenger by a margin of 54 percent to 43 percent, winning a third term in the House.