Dr. Drew Pinsky said he’s mulling a challenge to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in the upcoming election.
“I wake up every day and drive through this town and I am morally moved where I feel like I have to do something,” Pinsky told The Hill. “We have people literally dying in our streets.”
The recent impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump prompted thoughts of running for Congress, he said.
“I was watching all the impeachment proceedings and I was going, ‘Oh my God, our Congress is tied up and we’re dying out here in California. What are these people doing?’” Pinsky said. He would run as a Democrat in the heavily-Democratic district.
The 61-year-old said a run, even if unsuccessful, could get Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, “to start participating in the governance of this region.”
Still, because a political run could change his life, Pinsky said he might not end up running.
Pinsky is described on his official website as “doctor of internal medicine/addiction specialist and prolific broadcaster.”
“The combination of running a thriving medical practice (he still treats patients!), while simultaneously cultivating a successful media career, has resulted in an unprecedented reservoir of expertise,” it stated.
Pinsky said last year that the homeless crisis in California stems primarily from addiction and mental health issues.
“The ideology is—this is a housing crisis. Period. End of story. It’s income inequality. It’s not. It is a mental health crisis,” he said.
“If you don’t wake up from that theological fog, more people are going to die. Three people die on the streets every day in Los Angeles county. Three every day, and people who get in the way of treating those people are murderers. They are, and I’m sick of it.”
Schiff represents California’s 28th Congressional District. The 59-year-old has been in office since 2001; for the first term, he represented the state’s 27th Congressional District.
Schiff, one of the most powerful Democrats in the House, easily won the 2018 election with over three-quarters of the vote. One Democrat, Sal Genovese, ran for the seat but lost to Schiff and Johnny Nalbandian, a Republican, in the primary.
Genovese, a community leader, is running again in 2020, along with Democrats Chad Anderson, a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives; Maebe Girl, who is on L.A.’s Silver Lake Neighborhood Council; and Ara Khachi Manoogian. Republicans William Bodell and attorney Eric Early are also vying for the seat, along with Independent Jennifer Barbosa.