Republican Challenger for Stupak

A southern U.P. physician is making his first run for office trying to unseat Bart Stupak from the U.P.’s seat in Congress later this year.

Dr. Dan Benishek is an Iron River native who lives in Crystal Falls.

He’s been a surgeon in the U.P. for more than 25 years.

And although he’s been chair of the Iron County Republican Party, he’s never run for elected office.

But he’s running for Congress because he says he’s disgusted with what’s going on in Washington.

He says he doesn’t understand how anyone could vote for, or against, a spending bill like the stimulus package without having read it cover-to-cover first.

Benishek says his top priority is stimulating job creation through private industry.

But with his life’s work coming in medicine, he has a unique vantage point on the national debate about health care reform.

Benishek says if you don’t buy insurance from Blue Cross, there’s pretty much nowhere else to go in Michigan.

He says the situation makes it more difficult for patients to receive care than if there were more competition, and it also makes it more difficult for physicians to be paid.

Stupak will also have a Democratic challenger in the August primary.

Connie Saltonstall is a former teacher and former Charlevoix County board member.

She entered the race last week.