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Dentists, students attend campaign school

Special to the ADA News

Washington—Three dentists and four dental students attended “The Art of Political Campaigning” conference here June 16-18, together with hundreds of prospective political candidates and campaign advisors.

Image: Political school: The Art of Political Campaigning conference drew participants from around the country
Political school: The June 16-18 Art of Political Campaigning conference drew participants from around the country to the Washington Marriott. Photos by Brian Sodergren

Campaigns & Elections hosted the conference. The American Dental Political Action Committee accepts applications for the conference from interested members of the dental community, helping to defray the cost for accepted attendees.

Attending this year were Drs. David Lurye of Colorado, Leslie Heinemann of South Dakota and Kim Jernigan of Florida. Also in the group were dental students David Chesser and Alex Barton of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, Sarah Humphreys of the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry and Michael Lueck of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine.

The highlight of the trip for many of the dentists and students was an hour long meeting with dentist/Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) outside the House of Representatives chamber.

As the House bell buzzed, Rep. Gosar kept interrupting himself midsentence. “Hold that thought,” he said before dashing to the House floor to vote on amendments to an agriculture appropriations bill. Attendees were amazed at Rep. Gosar’s dedication and work rate. 

“He was really encouraging and inspirational,” Sarah Humphreys said.

In giving the dental perspective of being a member of Congress, Rep. Gosar said that “it’s just like running a dental practice, except for having four, five or six chairs, it’s 1,000 chairs.” 

Michael Lueck said the meeting with Rep. Gosar gave him “a first-hand appreciation of how well-rounded and motivated someone has to be to consider running for office at the federal level.”

For those in the dental community interested in running for political office, the conference allows participants to better understand the true world of electoral politics and what it takes to be a successful candidate.  

“I think this conference was very logistical for people truly considering running for political office, myself included,” Mr. Lueck said. “Unless you go out and spend thousands of dollars on a consultant you would never know what it would take to put together a good team.”

Mr. Chesser echoed those comments.  “I gained a lot of confidence in running for office and knowledge on where and how to begin,” he said.

For more information about attending this conference in the future, please contact ADPAC, adpac@ada.org or 201-898-2424.

Image: Rep. Paul Gosar (third from left), Dr. Leslie Heinemann, David Chesser, Sarah Humphreys, Alex Barton and Michael Lueck.
Dental insight: Joining dentist Rep. Paul Gosar (third from left) in the Rayburn Room at the U.S. Capitol last month are Dr. Leslie Heinemann, David Chesser, Sarah Humphreys, Alex Barton and Michael Lueck.