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Ins and outs of running for office

Candidate workshop covers campaign details

May 09, 2017

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — Running for office is more than just putting your name on a ballot.

There’s fundraising and polling and a host of grassroots tips to master—skills not usually learned in the dental office.

That’s why for the eighth year in a row, the American Dental Political Action Committee held the Physician and Dentist Candidate Workshop.

Seven ADA member dentists attended the April 29-30 workshop to learn what it takes to run for local, state or federal office. They are Drs. Rick Andolina, ADPAC chair, New York; Joseph Wineman, Nevada; Carol Summerhays, California; Jennifer Szakaly, Virginia; Jerry Bird, ADPAC chair-elect, Florida; Anne Dufour, Pennsylvania; and Gary Wegman, Pennsylvania.

The sessions focused on the ins and outs of constructing a successful campaign, including how to organize a campaign, understanding political polls and the importance of messaging. There were also dedicated sessions on digital engagement and fundraising.

Dr. Bird, who is also the chair-elect of ADPAC, called the workshop a “valuable tool” for any health care provider interested in running for office.

“We need members of the ADA serving as lawmakers to advance a true patient-oriented dental care agenda, because we have the personal knowledge on how to accomplish that goal,” Dr. Bird said. “A truly valuable asset that we unite with our physician colleagues with common goals to keep the cost of this program very reasonable.”

In addition to ADPAC, other hosts of the event included the American College of Radiology RADPAC, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, National Emergency Medicine PAC, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists OB-GYN PAC, American Osteopathic Information Association PAC and American College of Surgeons Professional Association PAC.