Julianne Thomas, M.D., FAAP, is joined by former Vice President Al Gore at a Cornell College rally during her House election campaign.

Iowa pediatrician Julianne Thomas, M.D., FAAP, knew the odds were against her when she decided to run in last November’s election for a U.S. House of Representatives seat. Only 2% of candidates who challenge an incumbent win, but that did not discourage her from trying to beat Rep. Jim Leach (R) in a newly re-drawn district that favored a Democrat.

“Iowa has a lot of health care problems,” Dr. Thomas said. “People were concerned about health care and the economic downturn. Those were the issues that prompted me to run. I had high hopes I would win.”

Since the Republicans were holding the majority in the House by just a few seats, the Iowa race took on national prominence. Dr. Thomas had support on the campaign trail from...

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