A female Democratic candidate hoping to succeed U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) says in a new television ad that she is running because Congress has “too many multimillionaires and politicians ‘mansplaining’ health care.”
The ad by Nadia Hashimi, a Montgomery County pediatrician and novelist, highlights that she would be the only woman doctor in Congress if voters in Maryland’s 6th District elect her in November.
Even as she takes a swipe at wealthy lawmakers in the ad, Hashimi herself is also affluent, reporting in a recent financial disclosure statement that she earned $351,000 last year from her medical practice, book sales and speeches and has more than $1 million in investments. Her husband, a neurosurgeon, reported earnings of $682,000.
Hashimi, in a brief telephone interview, drew a distinction between herself and congressional representatives who are aligned “with the major industries of Big Pharma and the insurance companies. I don’t have those kinds of alliances.
“What we’re getting at are the kinds of people who are making decisions around health care who have corporate interests, which I don’t have,” she said.
Hashimi is among eight Democrats competing in the June 26 primary for a seat that Delaney is vacating to run for president. The field also includes Del. Aruna Miller (Montgomery), state Sen. Roger Manno (Montgomery) and David Trone, the millionaire owner of the Total Wine & More retail chain.
The Republican candidates include Amie Hoeber, a defense contractor, and Lisa Lloyd, a nurse practitioner.
The 6th District stretches from parts of Montgomery County to western Maryland, including Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties.
Trone lost a campaign for another Maryland congressional seat two years ago, despite contributing $13 million of his own money to his campaign. He has poured more than $5 million into the current race, including more than $1 million on TV ads in which he portrays himself as a self-made businessman from modest origins.
Instead of attacking Trone, who has the most money, the state’s Republican Party last month targeted Miller with two mass mailings that portrayed her as weak on crime. Miller, who has raised just over $1 million, has been endorsed by Emily’s List, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and more than 20 Maryland state lawmakers.
Manno, who joined the state Senate in 2011 after serving in the House of Delegates, has received broad union support but lags behind his rivals in fundraising, having less than $275,000 in his campaign account, according to the most recent filing.
Hashimi has not previously run for office, but she has received acclaim as a novelist and has impressed voters in her public appearances. In April, she reported that she had just over $300,000 in her campaign account, including a $225,000 loan from herself.
Hashimi’s first ad, a 30-second spot, cost her campaign about $7,000 and is appearing on cable.
“Is there a female doctor in the house?” the ad’s narrator asks as the camera shows the outside of what is supposed to be Hashimi’s home. “There is in this house.”
Then the ad shows an image of the U.S. Capitol building.
“But zero female doctors are in this house,” the narrator continues as the camera introduces the pediatrician in a white doctor’s lab coat, a stethoscope draped over her shoulders.