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2017’s “Donald Trump of Healthcare”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

As the U.S. Senate tackles its version of repealing and replacing ObamaCare this week, the behind-the-scenes influence of physicians cannot be underestimated. From Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) to Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price (R-GA) the Federal government can draw on expertise from its “doctor base” to zero-in on real world, medically-rooted solutions to the disaster known as Barack Obama’s so-called “Affordable Care Act.”

But regardless of the current Senate bill’s success or failure, healthcare promises to be the preeminent issue in American politics for years to come. Which is why the 10-candidate August 15th GOP primary for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama is commanding national attention. This is the seat left vacant by Jeff Sessions when President Trump appointed him U.S. Attorney General.

Incumbent Luther “Big Luther” Strange (appointed earlier this year by disgraced former governor Robert Bentley, who has since resigned from office) wants to hold onto the job. However, Strange faces challenges from many office-holders and familiar names including—but not limited to—GOP Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville and firebrand Roy Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

But as the career politicians vie for position in the upcoming primary, a soft-spoken physician named Randy Brinson has been quietly honeycombing Alabama...campaigning at church picnics and public squares, sharing his vision of solutions that Alabama—and America—need for permanent resolution of the healthcare crisis.

Randy Brinson has never before sought public office, but this is no naïve Jimmy Stewart/“Mr. Smith goes to Washington” type: Brinson is President of the Christian Coalition in Alabama; has created countless jobs in his international business dealings and within his medical practice; helped open-up trade between organic coffee growers in Honduras and Alabama which had never been done before, and just returned from Zambia where he facilitated 28 projects which he says will deliver “a face value of $9-billion” to the Alabama economy.

If that sounds vaguely like another first-time office seeker elected in 2016, Brinson does not deny having the same appeal: he recently told The Birmingham News, "I'm like Donald Trump, a self-made man. I think I have good instincts and good policy experience where I know how to actually navigate things."

And while healthcare is the central focus of his campaign—Brinson insists America doesn’t need a healthcare plan “crafted by politicians and bureaucrats”—he also has strong positions on hot-button issues from national security and government waste to defending religious freedom. He also promises to support President Trump’s vision of a Supreme Court that does not legislate from the bench.

He’s been flying under-the-radar in the GOP primary run-up. That is all about to change.

His campaign website (www.VoteBrinson.com) is functional but about to be re-launched with stronger content including videos and photos of the candidate in action. And Brinson is increasingly comfortable bellying-up to traditional “retail politics”: this past weekend, he was spotted glad-handing at a local Peach Festival, met face-to-face with veterans to discuss their concerns, squeezed in Sunday church services and drove to Mobile to toss out the first ball in the AAA baseball Mobile Bay Bears vs. Tennessee Smokies game.

Bottom line: “longshot” novice campaigner Brinson is taking to politics like a fish to water. He tells SRN News in Washington: “I have so far had the opportunity to win-on-policy the last 2 debates with the candidates, Roy Moore and Mo Brooks... both are career politicians, as is incumbent Luther Strange. Alabama needs to send a businessman to the U.S. Senate who actually has created jobs for the past 30 years.”

And while Make America Great Again was already taken, Randy Brinson’s campaign slogan resonates with the same pride: his bright red signs read Let’s Put Alabama First!

Of course, conventional wisdom suggests Brinson winning the August 15th primary outright—or at least surviving to compete in a runoff between the top two candidates on September 26th in advance of the General Election on December 12th—remains a longshot.

But “conventional wisdom” suggested Hillary Clinton would be our 45th President and Democrat Jon Ossoff would win last week’s special election in Georgia’s 6th District. So it probably is wise not to count out Alabama’s “Donald Trump of Healthcare” taking the oath as the state’s next U.S. Senator.

After all, Dr. Randy Brinson already has plenty of practice placing his hand on a Bible.

Tom Tradup is Vice President/News & Talk Programming at Dallas-based Salem Radio Network. He can be reached at ttradup@srnradio.com

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