SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A Sioux Falls physician with no political experience said Monday she is joining the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate because the people of South Dakota want to elect someone who is not a career politician.
Annette Bosworth, 41, said she decided to run for the nomination after visiting people in 23 counties in South Dakota during the past 1½ months. Bosworth joins former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds and State Sen. Larry Rhoden in the race for the GOP nomination. The seat is now held by Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson, who is not seeking re-election after three terms.
"I've spent time asking South Dakota what is the possibility of having a non-legislator, a physician, a female, a mother run for United States Senate, and I was overwhelmed with the positive approach for change," Bosworth said.
South Dakota residents have a "palpable" frustration for politicians who have been groomed and made empty promises, she said.
"Having a career politician is never what the United State Senate was designed for," she said. "They are to be people who are citizens who pledge to serve the country for a chapter of their life using the skillsets from their trade in the community, making the nation a better place and then returning home having done a job that did improve the industry of the time."
To that end, Bosworth said she has a self-imposed term limit and will only seek re-election one time. She said that urgency and finite deadline is the key difference between her and her competitors. She's also pledged not to raise taxes on the state's residents, which she said was a point repeatedly made to her during her visits with communities.
Bosworth, who operates a private practice called Meaningful Medicine, has battled with the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners in the past. She's criticized the board's licensing and disclosure forms for doctors, contending that questions on the forms violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. The board reprimanded her last year for employing a physician assistant who was not licensed.
"I think it's clear that I have fought government. I have fought bureaucracy and I have learned you can't run from doing what is right simply because the odds are against you," she said of her past experiences with the board.
Bosworth said there is no denying that the health care system is broken, but that the new federal health care law is not the way to go.
"The only place the federal government has in health care is to serve those who cannot serve themselves. ... Americans need the right to choose a health care plan that has high deductibles and premiums and ones that have low deductibles and low premiums," she said. "They need the right to choose between plans that cover all medical procedures and those that cover only major medical procedures."
She added that health care plans must be portable and not tied to a job or state.
Bosworth will formally announce her candidacy Tuesday in Plankinton.
Rick Weiland is the only Democratic candidate to announce he's seeking the nomination for the U.S. seat. Weiland was a staffer for former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.
Follow Kristi Eaton on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kristieaton .