Keep an eye on Dr. Hans Keirstead, a stem cell researcher, entrepreneur, and former professor who is aiming to unseat House Republican Dana Rohrabacher.
Canadian-born Keirstead, 50, founded California Stem Cell Inc. and sold it for $100 million in 2014. He is now CEO of Aivita Biomedical. He taught at the University of California, Irvine for 14 years, and has raised well over $100 million in grants and donations in his various scientific jobs. He becomes the fifth Democrat hoping to push out Rohrabacher, who has served as a California house rep for for almost 30 years.
Keirstead supports the ACA, and he specifically supports it over a single-payer system. He says he does not intend to use his own money to campaign for the house seat.
Under his Why I’m Running essay on his campaign site, he says:
“I’ve dedicated my life to using medical science to save and improve lives — but in Congress, medicine and science have been pushed to the side in favor of partisan political games. Politicians like Dana Rohrabacher have used the broken system for their own gain for far too long. We’re not his priority and we need someone new.
I believe our elected leaders should rely on facts to guide policy. I’m not daunted by large obstacles. I’ve launched and managed companies, developed treatments for previously un-treatable diseases and been held accountable for my actions. We need more of that to change Washington and I intend to use Congress as a platform to improve even more lives.”
House Rep Dana Rohrbacher is viewed as vulnerable for his pro-Russia stance, and because his district is showing signs of turning Democrat blue. In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won the district by less than two points, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Orange County in 80 years. Rohrbacher also supports the AHCA and questions whether human activity is causing climate change. This is galling on its face, but it’s made worse by the fact that he sits on the House Committee on Science and Technology.
Visit Dr. Keirstead’s campaign website:
Read his website biography:
Read his full Why I’m Running statement:
Read more about Dr. Keirstead and his campaign for the House of Representatives:
Follow Dr. Keirstead on Twitter:
Donate to his campaign:
Don’t believe Dana Rohrbacher is on the House Committee on Science and Technology? Here’s the proof:
Here’s a Politico story about Rohrbacher’s interest in Russia, titled Putin’s Favorite Congressman:
And here’s a New York Times story about how the FBI warned Rohrbacher in 2012 that Russian spies were trying to recruit him:
Special thanks to 314 Action, where we first learned about Keirstead’s campaign. 314 Action is a nonprofit devoted to electing more people with STEM backgrounds to high office.
Follow it on Twitter: @314Action