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Letter to the Editor: County health board elections should focus on qualifications, not politics as usual

“Is the patient a Democrat or a Republican?” 

That’s not a question anyone would want to hear their doctor ask at a clinic; it’s absurd and inappropriate. In the same spirit, political parties choosing to label candidates like myself as “non-endorsable” in a nonpartisan election is unnecessary and inapt. There is enough division in the election process as is—we don’t need negative messaging being put out against candidates by political parties in local races where they don’t even have a partisan designation.

I’m not shaken by these actions of the local Democratic Party here in Platte County, just disappointed. After attending both the Democrats’ and Republicans’ candidate forums, I had really hoped that this April 4th election could be a bridge for common ground and cooperative solutions beyond the usual political bickering—but, apparently, I was wrong. 

Upon asking for the reasoning for this unexpected hit against me, their distaste was directed at my press release mentioning “facts over fear,” my concern over some past health board policies (such as spending reserve funds on a new—still empty—building during a pandemic), and that the other party had already chosen to give me their unsolicited endorsement.

Well, I know firsthand that embracing facts over fear is done every day in healthcare, as is learning from our past decisions, good or bad. As a candidate for the health board, I see Platte County as a patient, and it is the job of the health board to monitor our county’s vitals and prescribe policies to keep our community healthy, regardless of what is politically expedient. It is antithetical to the role of health board members to compromise their standards to win the approval of partisan organizations.

While I am disheartened that the local Democratic Party finds my dedication to qualifications over politics undesirable, I will continue to share my message of data-driven policies and ensuring honesty and transparency within the health board. I will continue to be a candidate who seeks to serve all Platte County’s citizens. I will continue to show up and hear voters’ concerns without a partisan agenda.

As the only doctor in this local race, I will continue to do what I know best: serving others regardless of their background or political affiliation.