• October 17, 2019

West Texas doctor announces bid for Congress - Odessa American: Local News

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West Texas doctor announces bid for Congress

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Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 4:05 pm

A Midland-Odessa family doctor announced his run for Texas’ 11th congressional district during a press conference Tuesday at the Presidential Archives and Leadership Library.

Dr. Richard Bartlett said the current political climate was a motivating factor in his decision to run for Congress. He unsuccessfully sought a congressional seat in 2003 against Randy Neugebauer.

Bartlett has practiced medicine in West Texas for 30 years, but is entering the political arena to have input on some of the nation’s most pressing issues such as health care, immigration and national security, he said.

“A battle is being waged in the halls of Congress, a struggle for the soul of America, and it is designed to unravel the fabric of the constitution and weaken the home of the brave,” he told audience members. “The scary thing is there are people in Congress who want to erase our history and replace it with a radical socialist agenda that denies our American exceptionalism.”

Federal Election Commission filing records state Bartlett along with about seven other candidates have filed for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, who will not seek reelection in 2020 after his eighth term in Congress is up.

Other candidates for District 11 include August Pfluger II, Wesley Virdell, Ned Luscombe, Jon Mark Hogg, Ross Schumann, J. Ross Lacy and Wacey Cody.

Sheriff Mike Griffis endorsed Bartlett, who is a longtime friend, and described him as a candidate with “common sense and some great values.”

In 2002, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry appointed Bartlett to the Health Disparities Taskforce. He was previously elected by colleagues to serve as president of the Ector County Medical Society for four consecutive terms.

Bartlett is a Permian High School alumnus and received his medical degree from Texas Tech University.

The physician has also participated in volunteer missions to offer medical care to those in need around the world. Over the years he has traveled to India, Iraq, Guatemala, Lebanon, Thailand, Argentina, Ethiopia, Egypt and Serbia helping patients.

“My purpose in life has been and always will be to serve others,” he said. “I pledge to you, I will staunchly defend the American principles of the constitution, individual liberty, limited government, rule of law and faith in our creator.”

Bartlett said he will bring knowledge gleaned from serving as a personal advisor to Perry and his experiences in other countries to the position if he wins.

When asked by media if he had any plans to address mass shootings that endangered Permian Basin residents in El Paso and Odessa last month, he said “I have some immediate things that we need to deal with, and again as far as national security goes, our biggest risk is our enemy states.”

He identified protecting the nation’s southern border as a high priority before abruptly ending the 10 minute interview with members of the media.

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