Election 2010: Results mixed for veterinarians vying for Congress, statehouses


Multiple veterinarians ran for Congress and state legislatures in this election. Here's a look at the candidates, results and issues.

National Report

-- There are 21 veterinarians in state legislatures, and most of them fought for re-election on Nov. 2. For the U.S. House of Representatives, veterinarian

Kurt Schrader

(D-Ore.) was victorious in a hotly contested race, and Republican

Charles Thompson

lost his bid to represent Oklahoma's 2nd District.

According to Adrian Hochstadt, assistant director of legislative and regulatory affairs for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), being a DVM is a plus for these candidates. “Veterinarians are generally highly regarded in their communities,” he tells DVM Newsmagazine.

At the state level, Dr. Rill Rabon, a Republican from Southport, N.C. will represent the state's District 8, but Lenoir, N.C.'s Dr. Elizabeth Jones lost her bid to represent District 44.

In Connecticut, Republican veterinarian Chip Beckett was in a nail-biter. His challenger, Steve Cassono, won the election by only 69 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

In New York, Tea Party Republican and veterinarian Steve Katz was the projected winner for a spot in the New York General Assembly.

In Florida, Dr. Les Gerson lost by a wide margin to Republican Anitere Flores.In North Dakota, Dr. Frank Walker gained almost 42 percent of the votes, but it wasn't nearly enough to stave off Democratic challenger Joan M. Heckaman for Senate District 23.

Missouri’s Proposition B narrowly was approved by voters. The measure calls for new regulations on dog breeders and commercial kennels. In fact, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) strongly opposed Prop B, and Hochstadt says AVMA remains opposed to it simply because it is a ballot initiative. The measure was supported by both the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Click here for more on this issue.

"We have a policy against ballot initiatives setting animal-care policies," he says. "We like to see the regular legislative and regulatory channels be used rather than going to voters. Ad campaigns can be misleading on initiatives that are complicated."

In addition, there are several states with initiatives on the ballot related to protecting hunting from future restrictions, which Hochstadt says AVMA is monitoring.

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