Although he’s already participated in candidate forums, Dr. Robert Mittman of Bayside officially announced his candidacy for the newly created 6th Congressional seat last week in Elmhurst. He utilized the site of the closed St. John’s Hospital as a backdrop for his speech on improving healthcare for the citizens of Queens and possibly the country.
The physician outlined several healthcare initiatives such as providing full medication coverage for seniors, declaring that he will exceed the expectations of President Obama’s initiative that is expected to pay for 75 percent of senior drug costs by 2020, according to his campaign.
Mittman was joined by his wife, Susan, and his son, Adam, along with members of the Forest Hills Ambulance Corps and patients from his private allergy practice.
Mittman’s slogan is declaring himself as the “prescription for a healthy economy,” and he believes this will be done through covering healthcare for the nation.
Mittman, who was late in joining the Democratic list of candidates for the seat, faces Assemblyman Rory Lancman of FreshMeadows and Assemblywoman Grace Meng of Flushing in the June 26 Democratic primary. The winner will face Republican challenger Councilman Dan Halloran of Whitestone in the November election.
“I am not a plant,” Mittman said when asked why he entered the race. “This is a real campaign and I have real plans.”
Paul Dubois, a friend and patient of Mittman’s from Bayside who came in support, said that the doctor has spent years watching businesses close on the same street where he runs his practice, and he’s tired of the strain on the economy.
“This is a small businessman we’re talking about,” Dubois said. “He has been involved in the civic end of interests for years and has established himself in the community. This is his time.”
In Bayside, Mittman sponsors a little league team and helped establish the Bayside Business Association.
“We need citizen legislators who are willing to lead and redefine politics as we know it,” Mittman read. “Americans should expect that the strength of our campaigns will be measured by the ideas and solutions offered on critical issues, not on the amount of cash collected on special interests.”
Mittman ended his speech by explaining his attachment to the apple, samples of which he handed out to his supporters, and that has graced his campaign website since its creation.
“This apple represents the Big Apple,” Mittman said. “It represents health and Americans producing something perfect. It represents a healthy economy.”
He would not comment on his stance regarding Israel, which is a hot topic on the campaign trail. Mittman said he will be giving a speech on the topic at a later date.