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Doug Butzier being interviewed by the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald Editorial Board
Photo credit: Brian Cooper

Dr. Doug Butzier, the Libertarian Party of Iowa candidate in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race, died Monday night in a single plane crash.  Butzier who was the medical staff president, a member of the hospital board of trustees, and an emergency medicine physician at Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque was piloting a single-engine Piper PA-46 alone from Ankeny, Iowa to the Dubuque Regional Airport when it crashed in rural Dubuque County near the Key West area.  He was 59 years-old and is survived by his wife Ann Sawvel Chapman, two sons and three stepchildren.

Butzier was born in Mt. Pleasant, IA and grew up in Cedar Falls where he graduated from Northern University High School (Price Lab) in 1973.  He graduated from the University of Iowa School of Medicine with an MD in 1984 and interned in Spoke, WA and completed his residency at the University of Arizona in Tuscon.  He practiced emergency medicine in Dubuque for 17 years.

He also in 2007 graduated from the University of Iowa with a MBA degree.

Butzier on his campaign website said that Obamacare was his final straw for him in his decision to run for U.S. Senate having been long concerned about the rising national debt and its national security impact on our nation.  “I believe that putting the government in charge of our health care system, let alone 17% of the GDP, is a huge mistake.  We need to get the federal government out of healthcare, out of the marketplace, out of the classroom and out of our wallets,” he wrote.

“Dr. Butzier was one of the pillars of the emergency department for the past 17 years. His influence was felt throughout the hospital, as he led one of our key quality-improvement teams with skill, knowledge, and enthusiasm, helping to produce the outstanding results Mercy has become known for. He was a leader among his peers, and we will all miss his strong, intelligent, thoughtful presence, and we express our collective condolences to Doug’s family, friends, and colleagues,” Mercy President and CEO Russell Knight said in a released statement.

Joni Ernst, Republican candidate in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race, released a statement upon confirmation from the family, “I am deeply saddened to learn the tragic news about Dr. Doug Butzier. I appreciated Doug’s willingness to contribute to this important election. In addition to representing Libertarians in this campaign, Doug served his community as an ER doctor and medical leader. Gail and I will keep Doug’s family in our thoughts and prayers as they mourn their untimely loss.”

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