One radiologist made history in Arizona, while another fell short in Florida, in Tuesday’s August 28th congressional primary elections.
In Arizona, Steve Ferrara, MD, an interventional radiologist with extensive military experience, became the first radiologist congressional candidate to win a contested primary race. In Florida, Steve Sevigny, MD, a diagnostic radiologist, finished third as a Democrat in the primary election in Florida’s 6th congressional district.
Ferrara enjoyed a landslide victory with 58.9 percent of the vote (more than 21,000 total votes) over a politically experienced opponent, who was the 2016 Republican nominee for the same Arizona 9th congressional district seat.
Ferrara has earned support and endorsement from more than 15 House Republican members of Congress, as well as 20 physician organizations. His campaign has raised over $1 million, and in early September, he will be named to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns Program, a designation given to the party committee’s “top candidates.”
Arizona’s 9th congressional district is one of the few true independent seats in the country with more registered Independent voters (36 percent) than Republicans (31 percent) or Democrats (33 percent). In 2016, the 9th congressional district gained national attention with its ticket-splitting vote by supporting Hillary Clinton for president, Republican Sen. John McCain and Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema for the House seat.
Following the primary election vote, Ferrara recognized the importance of his support from radiology. “I am honored to have earned the trust and support of the voters of the 9th congressional district to serve as the Republican nominee in the general election,” he said at his victory rally. “There are so many great people who have helped my campaign, but I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the tremendous amount of support I’ve received from the radiology community — I’m grateful beyond words."
In his primary bid, Sevigny received 21.8 percent of the vote (12,596 total votes). He ran a spirited campaign based on his experience as a radiologist and businessman. His campaign caught traction heading into the final weeks of the primary but lacked the momentum to put him over the top in his Republican-leaning district. Sevigny expresses sincere gratitude for the support his campaign received from the radiology community.