Northeast Johnson County is home-base for Milton Wolf’s Tea Party challenge to Pat Roberts

Milton Wolf
Milton Wolf

Small town values may be at the heart of Tea Party favorite Milton Wolf’s quest for the U.S. Senate — but his campaign is being waged from the doctor’s home of nearly 20 years: northeast Johnson County.

Wolf, a radiologist at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, spent approximately a decade in Prairie Village before moving to his current home in north Leawood about eight years ago. His two children graduated from Shawnee Mission East.

An outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act, Wolf — who is a distant cousin of Barack Obama — made a name for himself writing columns for the Washington Times and a book. And last month, he decided to use the public profile he’s built through that work to wage a challenge against three-term incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts — a challenge that has drawn considerable attention in Kansas and nationally.

“My problem is that Republicans in office now haven’t gone far enough [in trying to defeat Obamacare],” he said. “They have fallen short.”

Many have noted the ambitiousness of making a first foray into politics by challenging an entrenched senator who has never received less than 60 percent of the popular vote in a general election; Wolf has never sought elected office before. But Wolf thinks too-long tenures are part of the problem. His lack of experience in office isn’t a weakness, he says. It’s a strength.

“A career politician might think like that,” he said. “But I don’t have the kind of experience these career politicians have. I’ve never run up trillions of dollars in deficits. I think that’s a good thing.”

Wolf has made opposition to Obamacare the hallmark of his campaign thus far, using a feisty Twitter account to peck at Roberts for his association with former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who is charged with implementing the bill as secretary of Health and Human Services.

“I don’t just oppose Obamacare because it costs too many dollars – which it does,” he said. “I oppose it because it will cost too many lives. It is immoral for a politician or a bureaucrat to make life and death decisions.”

Wolf says that his experience as a radiologist gives him special insight into the healthcare system, and that as a senator he would seek “true market-based” solutions to the country’s healthcare issues. He says that being a physician is a special calling.

“It’s a burden that I don’t know if I’d wish on anyone else, and I’ve got the scars to prove it,” he said. “It is so humbling to have someone put their life in your hands.”

You can see Wolf’s campaign video below: