Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is on no one's list of vulnerable Senators in 2010. But an active duty Navy M.D. says he's ready to mount a serious challenge to the six term liberal. From the left. Daniel Freilich says he plans to formally announce his bid for Leahy's seat tomorrow in Wilmington, VT. We caught up with him this afternoon.
Freilich, 45, is an internist and infectious disease specialist for the Navy and has spent much of his military career in clinical medicine. Not surprisingly, much of his campaign message focuses on health care. Freilich is a single payer advocate and says that Leahy "bears some of the responsibility" for the idea's current DOA status in Washington as a "more than 30 year incumbent."
Overall though, Freilich praised the man he hopes -- however fleetingly -- to defeat for the Democratic nomination. "Traditionally, he's in the right direction" on most policy issues, Freilich said. "But not sufficiently so."
Freilich is currently on active duty but said his status should change to "reservist" in the next several days so he can actively campaign. Asked how serious a bid he intended to mount against the popular Leahy, Freilich said he plans to raise "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to mount his bid.
"How many I don't know," he said. "But that promise should give you an idea of how serious we are."