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Analysis

The Healthcare Leaders Elected in the 2018 Midterms

By Jack O'Brien  
   November 07, 2018

More than two dozen candidates with healthcare backgrounds were elected or reelected to public office Tuesday night.

After a lengthy primary season and contentious general election cycle, numerous healthcare leaders won their respective elections Tuesday night. 

Healthcare was one of the most prominent issues concerning voters in the midterm election cycle, punctuated by more than 60 declared candidates with healthcare backgrounds running for public office in 2018. 

Around 35 candidates made it to the general election ballot and more than two dozen received a stamp of approval from the voters. 

Most notably were Gov. Rick Scott, former head of Columbia/HCA, who won a neck-and-neck race against Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Lauren Underwood, RN, a former HHS adviser under former President Barack Obama, who defeated Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Illi., and former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, who won a hotly contested campaign in Miami.  

Check out the full list below to see which healthcare players were elected or reelected in the midterm elections.

Senate races:

Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., was elected over Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wy., was reelected over Democratic nominee Gary Trauner.

  • Barrasso is an orthopedic surgeon.

House races:

Sec. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., was elected over Republican nominee Maria Elvira Salazar.  

  • Shalala served as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton.

Related: Former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala Says Azar Failing to Lead

Lauren Underwood, RN, D-Illi., was elected over Republican incumbent Rep. Randy Hultgren.

  • Underwood is a registered nurse.

  • She also served as a senior advisor to the Department of Health and Human Services under President Barack Obama.

Related: Former HHS Adviser Lauren Underwood Running for House Seat

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J., was elected over Republican nominee Seth Grossman.

  • Van Drew is a dentist.

Dr. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., was elected over Republican nominee Dino Rossi.

  • Schrier is a pediatrician.

Related: Where 7 Healthcare Leaders Running in the Midterms Stand on ACA, Medicare-For-All

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, was reelected over Democratic nominee Jill Schiller.

  • Wenstrup is a physician.

Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., was reelected over Democratic nominee Mariah Phillips.

  • DesJarlais is a physician.

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, was reelected over Democratic nominee Linsey Fagan.

  • Burgess is a physician.

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., was reelected over Republican nominee Andrew Grant.

  • Bera served as Chief Medical Officer of Sacramento County.

Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., was reelected over Democratic nominee Bob Rackleff.

  • Dunn is a surgeon.  

Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., was reelected over Democratic nominee Chuck Enderlin.

  • Ferguson is a dentist.

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, was reelected over Democratic nominee Aaron Swisher.

  • Simpson is a dentist.

Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-In., was reelected over Democratic nominee William Tanoos.

  • Buchson is a heart surgeon.

Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, was reelected over Democratic nominee Alan LaPolice.

  • Marshall is an obstetrician.

Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., was reelected over Democratic nominee Jesse Colvin.

  • Harris is an anesthesiologist.

Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., was reelected over Democratic nominee Marty Olsen.

  • Roe is an OB/GYN.

Related: Healthcare Winners and Losers from Election Night 2018

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, was reelected over Libertarian nominee Shawn Jones.

  • Johnson was the first nurse elected to Congress in 1993.

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., was reelected over Republican nominee Kimberlin Pelzer.

  • Ruiz is a physician.

Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., was reelected over Democratic nominee Lisa Ring.

  • Carter is a pharmacist. 

Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., was reelected over Democratic nominee Jesse Fleenor.

  • Abraham is a physician.

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., was reelected over Republican nominee Joseph Schneider.

  • Moulton founded Eastern Healthcare Partners in 2011.

Gubernatorial elections:

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., was elected over Republican nominee Steve Pearce.

  • Grisham previously served as head of the state's Department of Health.

Gov. Charlie Baker, R-Mass., was reelected over Democratic nominee Jay Gonzalez.

  • Baker served in the state department of health and human services under two governors in the 1990s.

  • He also served as CEO of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates beginning in 1998.

Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, was reelected over Democratic nominee Fred Hubbell.

  • Reynolds worked as a pharmacist assistant.

This story has been updated to reflect that Dr. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., was elected over Republican nominee Dino Rossi, and include Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga.

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders. 


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