Wisconsin Medical Society member Kristin Lyerly, MD, MPH, recently announced her campaign for the State Assembly for district 88 in the Green Bay area as a democrat. Her website is kristinforwisconsin.com.
Incumbent State Representative John Macco, a republican, announced this week that he will be seeking re-election for the seat he’s held for two terms. His website is johnmacco.com.
Dr. Lyerly answered a few questions about her campaign.
What prompted you to run for office?
I have a long history of advocacy work in women’s health and had considered for a few years whether my skills and expertise might translate to a broader role in leadership. Consideration turned to action when our legislators brazenly chose politics over public health April 7, sending our vulnerable friends and neighbors to the polls during a global pandemic. Knowing the time had come to act, I consulted trusted advisors in both medicine and government. They cemented my decision to seek office, and the response I have received from constituents eager for change further confirms that this is the right choice at the right time.
What is one goal you hope to accomplish if elected to the State Assembly?
My primary goal is to build relationships and work with my fellow legislators to address the needs of our communities. The ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic are profound and will be long-lasting, and we need to work together to aid economic recovery with a focus on small businesses, ensure adequate health care, support public education and respect and protect our natural resources.
What inspired you to become a physician and will you continue to practice if elected to the State Assembly?
I didn’t choose medicine, medicine chose me. I feel the same way about the opportunity to represent Northeast Wisconsin in the Assembly. My beacon has always been meaning – endeavoring to use my talents, experience and connections to improve the lives of others. The relationships I cultivate as a physician inspire me and support the work I do outside the exam room and the hospital. I will continue to practice medicine and carry the voices of my patients and colleagues with me.
So far, what is the most interesting part of campaigning?
The massive outpouring of support we have seen from throughout the state and across the country has been incredible. I see and hear people within and far outside the district who are invested in what is happening here in Wisconsin – and especially in Northeast Wisconsin, the region pundits say could swing the outcome of the presidential election. I have talked with people all over the world who have expressed steadfast support, which only reinforces that this is the right time to step up and make a difference in my community.
What perspective, as a practicing physician, do you think will be most valuable in the State Assembly?
Many of the decisions that affect health care – for individuals, practitioners and communities alike – are made at the state level. It is inconceivable to me that the voice of medicine is lacking within our legislature. I intend to provide that voice, to elevate the stories of our colleagues and patients and to ensure that my fellow legislators have the tools that they need to make thoughtful, educated decisions.
As of now, neither candidate has a primary opponent. To contribute to either Dr. Lyerly, Rep. Macco or another campaign, please contact Heidi Green [email protected] or 608.442.3720.
The Wisconsin Medical Society is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse any specific candidate for political office.
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