Veterinarian wins Indiana congressional primary

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First-time candidate Dr. Angela Demaree won Indiana’s 5th Congressional District Democratic Party primary election May 3. She will face Republican incumbent Susan Brooks in a historic matchup this November as two women compete for the congressional seat for the first time.

Dr. Demaree
Dr. Angela Demaree

Dr. Demaree told supporters in Indianapolis after defeating primary challenger Allen Davidson, “We won the primary because we won’t accept the status quo, and neither should Indiana. It’s what I’m fighting for, it’s what you are fighting for, and it’s how we are going to win in November.”

The sixth-generation Hoosier and Indianapolis resident took an early lead in the Democratic Party primary and received 70 percent of the votes.

Three veterinarians currently serve in the House of Representatives: Drs. Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Ted Yoho of Florida, and Ralph Abraham of Louisiana. Dr. Demaree would be the first female veterinarian elected to Congress, should she win in November.

Dr. Demaree campaigned as a bipartisan problem solver, citing her experience as a veterinarian and an officer in the Army Reserve Veterinary Corps (see JAVMA, April 1, 2016). During the primary, she was endorsed by the Marion County Democratic Party, 5th Congressional District Democratic Committee, College Democrats of Indiana, Tipton County Democratic Committee, and Indiana Democratic Party.

A 2002 graduate of Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Demaree practiced companion animal and equine medicine before joining the AVMA staff in 2007 as an associate director of the Governmental Relations Division in Washington, D.C. Three years later, she took a job with the Indiana Horse Racing Commission as equine medical director.

In 2009, Dr. Demaree was commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserve Veterinary Corps and later deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She currently is a major in the Army Reserve.

Dr. Demaree told supporters following her primary win that the true challenge of unseating the GOP incumbent in November had started in earnest. “We have to remember, the hard work has just begun,” she said. “I’m standing here because together, with your help and the help of so many dedicated volunteers, we’ve exceeded expectations.”