The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Election 2008

October 30, 2008

Davis brings health care expertise to race

Dr. Brian Davis has a professional resume that just doesn’t quit.

There’s the degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois and the work in nuclear power plant design and radioactive waste management. There are the master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

There’s the medical degree from the University of Illinois and the oncology practice at the Mayo Clinic.

Davis jokes that when his parents encouraged him to get a college education, he went a bit overboard. But the Illinois native also notes the work he did to earn money for college, including jobs as a furniture mover and janitor.

While Davis believes his background would be useful as the nation faces important energy and health-care decisions, he hasn’t made his biography a central part of his campaign. There is one skill he’s developed as a specialist in cancer treatment he believes would be helpful on a broader level if he’s elected.

He talks of the many times he’s gone into a room where a cancer patient and family members are waiting, tries to put them at ease and then discusses the sometimes tough choices they face.

“It does put things in perspective and also puts me in a position where I need to explain difficult things,” Davis said. “And I think when you’re running for office, you are put in a position where you have to answer a lot of questions in front of a lot of people.”

New to politics

Davis’ political experience is as shallow as his educational and professional background is deep.

A resident of Minnesota for a dozen years, he first became active in Republican politics when he began thinking of running against Walz. Generally pleased with the representation he’d received from Republican Congressman Gil Gutknecht (who Walz defeated, ending a 12-year-run in the House), Davis didn’t like the direction the new Democratic majority was headed in 2007.

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Election 2008