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Small animal DVM enters big-time politics
Trenton, N.J. - He's put away the scuba gear, paused the pottery wheel and plans to rearrange time spent as his practice to do one thing - run for the New Jersey General Assembly.
TRENTON, N.J. — He's put away the scuba gear, paused the pottery wheel and plans to rearrange time spent as his practice to do one thing — run for the New Jersey General Assembly.
From now until the November 2007 election, Dr. Barry Adler plans to campaign, not for the Woodbridge Veterinary Group, which he co-owns, but for himself. At 55, the general practitioner and father of two who doubles as a consummate diver and artist seeks to enter public office. In a profession largely comprised of conservative small business owners, the lifelong Democrat notes that veterinarians are free thinkers. Perhaps more of his colleagues will one day cross party lines, he says.
Until then, Adler, a graduate of The Ohio State University's veterinary program who sits on the New Jersey State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, plans to battle for the Democratic nomination representing Middlesex County in the 19th district. Fueled by his clients' enthusiasm to run, he's championing a platform to aid urban schools in the face of a $4-billion state budget deficit and seeks a moratorium on fraudulent government spending. He also proposes a new gas tax to offset the state's nearly bankrupt transportation system.
"The tax I propose will be less than 10 cents a gallon and will encourage conservation, which is necessary today and will help the environment," Adler says. "As important as growing the economy is, New Jersey needs to look at the spending side. We can no longer spend what we don't have. We need to reduce waste, eliminate corruption and get government more efficient."
As for the veterinary profession, Adler says he's not leaving his colleagues behind. He promises to champion the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association's rewrite of the state's "antiquated" anti-cruelty statutes.
"As veterinarians, I think candidates come to the table as a multi-faceted professionals," he says. "We are medical professionals, but also business people. We're experts on animal diseases but also cruelty issues. People trust us, and I think for good reason."