Dr. Danielle Mitchell of Chattanooga announced Tuesday that she is running as a Democrat in Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District against incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.
Mitchell, a primary care and sports medicine physician who owns a community health care clinic, said in a news release that her campaign platform is based on "electing government officials who are TRAINED to TAKE CARE of people" and emphasizes "people policy" over partisan politics.
"Responsible governing should be less about who's your favorite football team — your political party — and more about electing people who are trained to serve you and your family," Mitchell said.
She said she was initially inspired to run by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans' efforts to repeal the federal Affordable Care Act. As a small business owner, she herself relies on the ACA.
According to her campaign, while Mitchell is running as a Democrat, she is "emphasizing a 'No Labels' campaign because she strongly feels that labels don't represent what they used to. She is advocating 'voting along people lines.'"
Mitchell owns the Chattanooga Sports Institute and Center for Health, which serves more than 1,300 people.
"I have spent my adult life listening to, problem solving, and caring for others," Mitchell said. "Elected officials should be there to take care of you and our community. Why not elect someone who is trained to care for people?"
She said that, if elected, she would pursue "sensible solutions that benefit the needs of all Tennesseans."
The list includes providing affordable health care, improving public education, promoting access to jobs that "pay you a fair wage" and "identifying and getting rid of corrupt politicians who protect private interests that greedily consume your tax investments."
Other priorities include ensuring 3rd District residents' taxes "are used to support key vital public services" that directly benefit families as well as promoting "a healthy environment so that your health care costs don't go up because your surrounding environment is making you sick."
Mitchell said that as a child growing up in the "working-poor class," her younger brother died from a disease that could otherwise have been managed had the family had access to affordable health care.
She also said that to combat her own morbid obesity issues, she began exercising, lost nearly 100 pounds and completed six full-length Ironman triathlons.
Then she was diagnosed with a vascular condition which she said nearly led to the amputation of her entire right leg. The Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare, gave her the insurance coverage she needed to afford treatment that saved her leg, she said.
But she said she now knows firsthand the issues of having a pre- existing medical condition that could be endangered under proposed changes.
Fleischmann, first elected to Congress in 2010, is widely expected to run for re-election in 2018.
Information about Dr. Mitchell's campaign and core principles can be found here:
- Website: http://dmmd4tncongress.com
- Crowdpac campaign funding page:
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dmmd4tncongress/
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/DMMD4TNCongress