Congressional candidate responds to ads attacking his use of "M.D." in campaign materials

NOW: Congressional candidate responds to ads attacking his use of “M.D.“ in campaign materials

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – In an increasingly ugly congressional race in Michigan’s 6th district, Democratic challenger Matt Longjohn is on the defensive against claims that he is not a “real doctor”.

Although Longjohn earned his medical degree from Tulane University in 1999, he only held a temporary license for one year in Illinois during his residency. After the license expired in 2001, Longjohn never held another license to practice medicine.

Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Fred Upton’s camp has accused Longjohn of misleading the public regarding his status as a doctor of medicine.

“Matt Longjohn might have gone to medical school but he’s not a licensed doctor and has never treated a patient in Michigan,” said an Upton campaign official. “He's actively deceiving voters by referring to himself as a “physician” in a campaign materials, filming his television advertisements in front of medical equipment, and using an EKG monitor on his yard signs.”

Longjohn’s campaign has defended his use of the “M.D.” label, as he is using it to emphasize his knowledge and expertise in the area of public health. When asked if he thought it was deceptive to use “M.D.” in his title, Longjohn told ABC 57 News, “Not at all. The Michigan Secretary of State, who is a Republican, said this is not an election issue. The Michigan State Medical Society is refuting the claim that somehow it’s illegal or a problem.”

“What I’m doing is using the credentials that I’ve earned. I went to medical school earned that M.D. degree by accruing $250,000 of debt, passed all the things I need to do to be a credentialed medical doctor,” Longjohn said.  “How I use that M.D., just as I’ve used that M.D. over the course of my 20 year career is in the betterment of people’s health for as many people as possible.”

Healthcare is one of the primary issues that Michigan’s 6th district voters will have in mind when they head to the polls on Nov. 6. Rep. Upton is a critic of the Affordable Care Act, and a supporter of the American Health Care Act.

Longjohn, on the other hand, supports expanded Medicare in a plan called “Medicare X”, but disagrees with proposals made by Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and others to establish a “Medicare-for-all” system.

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