Lorinser officially running for Congress

Dr. Robert Lorinser

MARQUETTE — Dr. Bob Lorinser on Tuesday announced he officially has filed to run for Michigan’s 1st Congressional District seat.

The election for this seat, currently held by Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, will be on Nov. 8, 2022.

Lorinser, 65, who will run as a Democrat, summed up his reason for running in a single word: service.

“I can represent the needs of our community at a national level and I can be an effective member of Congress, guiding America on a national and worldwide stage under the ideals and principles of what it means to be a proud American,” Lorinser said in a prepared speech.

Lorinser has a long history of service to his community and country.

After Lorinser received three advanced degrees — medical doctor and masters of social work and public health — he worked as a social worker in a Veterans Affairs hospital and as a resident doctor with the Indian Health Service, serving the Navajo Nation.

In 1989, he made his home in Michigan’s 1st District, where he practiced family medicine for three decades.

Lorinser joined the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Services in 2011 to serve as a diplomat and regional medical officer. Lorinser and his wife served the U.S. for 10 years, with tours in Pakistan, South Korea, Afghanistan, Morocco and Iraq.

When he returned to the U.S. last fall, Lorinser offered his services as medical director for the Marquette County Health Department. He said he could continue as medical director during his campaign.

He and his wife of 40 years, Peggy, have three children and four granddaughters.

“I grew up blessed and lucky,” Lorinser said. “But it wasn’t always easy. My parents divorced when I was young, our family suffered the consequences of alcoholism and my parents worked several jobs but still struggled paycheck to paycheck.

“I was blessed since I started to develop my bedrock of principles, moral compass and vision. I had a loving family and caring friends. I learned concepts of wisdom from my teachers, justice and equality under the law from the police, courage from my friends and kindness from my grandmother.”

Lorinser said he had “talented and dedicated teachers and strong schools” and lived in a safe community, and had affordable and available medical care with his parents holding “decent” jobs.

“I was also lucky. My family received governmental aid when we had hard times,” Lorinser said. “We used the support that was given and worked hard to deserve it. As a result, I succeeded and had a successful career. Now my goal as a member of Congress is to enable and support others to do the same.”

However, he said the government can’t do it all.

“And I also know that just like me, without their support, we will not thrive. As Americans, we need and deserve a government that provides support to those that need it,” Lorinser said.

Many people in his district and throughout the U.S. have families like his, he noted.

“If I didn’t have the support I was given, I only wonder where I would be,” Lorinser said. “Would I become a doctor? Could I have supported my country as a diplomat overseas? Would I have been available to direct the public health COVID response as a public health medical director?”

He listed wisdom, justice, courage, kindness, democratic freedom, equality under the law and moderation as the “bedrock of principles” on which he will run.

Lorinser called himself a “person of integrity” who speaks the truth, and will try to represent all that is best in his district. He also defined vision as “the ability to recognize problems on the horizon and develop reasonable solutions for the short term and the long term,” and the ability to build a consensus to achieve that vision.

Lorinser acknowledged the country is divided — economically, politically and culturally.

“We need government solutions that reflect our values and priorities,” he said. “We want governmental programs and policies to address the needs of everyday citizens.”

To serve his district, Michigan and the country, Lorinser said he supports:

≤ Economic viability, which enables people to thrive in jobs with living wages; if an adult is working a full-time job, they should not have to be on food stamps.

≤ Universal health care “as no one should suffer the consequences of not being able to afford or access medical care providers or their hospitals. When I look at my nearly 200,000 medical bills from a gallbladder problem, I worry about those faced with a similar situation,” said Lorinser, who expressed concern about those individuals having the proper amount of insurance and resources without going into debt.

“Unfortunately, the system is still in need of a fix,” he said.

≤ Accessible and affordable public education and training without insurmountable debt for engineers, doctors, musicians and teachers, and tradespeople such as electricians, carpenters and plumbers.

≤ A social safety net that’s capable of assisting and support, but not to enable. Lorinser said he supports universal child care as well as the expansion of Medicaid and Medicare. “We want and need to be self-supporting but understand, at times, just like my family, we may need help and support from time to time,” he said.

Lorinser said, “I have a vision we will all see each other as Americans who know, understand and respect each other. If elected to Congress, I would like to represent the majority of Americans, and I believe most Americans support our democratic objectives.

“My door is open. I want to hear from the district. Please reach out. I will not have immediate answers for everything, but now is a good time for everyone to bring things to my attention. I look forward to discussing these topics more for our great state of Michigan.”

James Hogge, a spokesman from Bergman for Congress, released a statement regarding Lorinser’s candidacy.

“After the last year and a half of deadly nursing home policies, crushing small businesses, forcing masks on our kids and destroying our workforce, the people of the 1st District want nothing to do with electing Gov. Whitmer’s health department henchman who expanded arbitrary health orders across the U.P.

“Our nation is seeing firsthand the dangers of people in elected positions lacking leadership. The last thing we need is another member of Congress who bows to the likes of U.S. Rep. AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), (Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi and (Senate Majority Leader) Chuck Schumer.”


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