Washington doctor makes history with election to Congress; all incumbent docs re-elected

Voting booths
Voters re-elected 12 incumbent physicians currently serving in Congress. (Getty/hermosawave)

(Editor's note: This article has been updated with release of further election results in Washington state.)

A Washington state pediatrician has made history as the first female physician elected to Congress. 

Kim Schrier, M.D., was declared the winner in Washington's 8th Congressional District race Wednesday after a second round of election results were released, according to King 5 TV in Seattle. It was also the first time a Democrat was ever elected to the seat that has been held only by Republicans. 


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“This is incredible. We've never had a Democrat in this seat. We also don’t have any women doctors in Congress until right now. So, we're making history in a couple ways—one by just putting a Democrat in this particular district, but now we have a woman doctor in the House, and that's a really critical missing voice," Schrier, told the television news station.

With Schrier's election there are now 15 physicians serving in Congress. Schrier ran for an open House seat, where the Republican incumbent decided not to seek re-election. Her opponent Dino Rossi conceded victory to Schrier yesterday.

A pediatrician from Issaquah, Schrier entered the race last August and said she was compelled to run after the Republican-led effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. In a twitter post, she said the election results show voters want a new voice in Congress, who will take on special interests, lower prescription drug costs and protect women's reproductive rights. 

Kim Schrier
Kim Schrier, M.D.
(Schrier campaign)

RELATED: Tuesday’s election—Will the first Democratic female doctor be elected to Congress?

Other physicians running as newcomers in races across the country hoping to win seats in Congress fell short.

However, all the 12 physicians currently serving in Congress who were up for re-election this year won in the mid-term election, including one senator and 11 members of the House of Representatives.

RELATED: There are 14 members of Congress who are doctors. Here's why they left the exam room for Capitol Hill

Here's a closer look at the other races:

Four other women who are doctors, all Democrats, who were on the ballot failed in their bid to get elected in the House. That included Hiral Tipirneni, M.D., who ran in Arizona; Kyle Horton, M.D., who ran in North Carolina; Danielle Michell, M.D., who ran in Tennessee; and Dawn Barlow, who also ran in Tennessee.

Other physicians who were unsuccessful in winning seats were: Stephen Ferrara, M.D., a Republican who ran in Arizona; Jim Maxwell, MD, a Republican who ran in New York; Matt Longjohn, M.D., a Democrat who ran in Michigan; and Rob Davidson, M.D., who also ran in Michigan.



RELATED: Slideshow—Meet the doctors of Congress

12 doctors re-elected

All the doctors currently serving in Congress were re-elected.

In the Senate, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming., an orthopedic surgeon, was re-elected.

Re-elected to the House were:

  • Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Louisiana, a family medicine physician.
  • Rep. Ami Bera, D-California, who served as chief medical officer of Sacramento County.
  • Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Indiana, a cardiothoracic surgeon.
  • Rep. Michael C. Burgess, R-Texas, an OB/GYN for nearly three decades.
  • Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tennessee, a physician.
  • Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Florida, is a surgeon.
  • Rep. Andy Harris, R-Maryland, is an anesthesiologist.
  • Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, is an obstetrician.
  • Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee, is an OB/GYN.
  • Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-California, is an emergency room physician.
  • Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, is a physician.

Another race that included a doctor was the governor’s race in Oregon. Orthopedic surgeon Knute Buehler, M.D., a state representative who was the Republican nominee, lost to Democratic incumbent Kate Brown, according to the Associated Press.

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