As Arizona and the nation continue to contend with the coronavirus pandemic, candidates for public office in the state are dealing with new challenges on the campaign trail.
Anne Marie Ward, a Republican candidate for Congress is one of them. Since beginning her run in 2019, Ward says health care has topped the concerns of potential voters.
"Health Care is right at the top of people's minds," she says.
The Prescott Valley native says she's heard from healthcare workers, particularly new practitioners to the field serving rural Arizona communities. She says they are looking for an alternative to the health insurance industry.
"They are looking at having a price list or a monthly retainer and they feel that they are no longer able to care for their patients outside of the insurance-driven industry and the political world," Ward said.
Ward adds the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted problems within the healthcare system.
"Altogether COVID-19 has really shown a lot of light on how far we have to go in healthcare but it is also a prime opportunity to get started," she said.
Ward is a first-time candidate. In Congressional District 4 she'll have to unseat a popular incumbent to win. Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar handily won the district in 2018.
Hear more from Anne Marie Ward on this episode of Arizona Edition.