Congressional hopeful challenging Ballwin’s Ann Wagner launches ad defending Obamacare
WASHINGTON • Democrat Cort VanOstran, who is seeking the nomination to oppose Rep. Ann Wagner in Missouri’s 2nd congressional district, is running his first campaign ad — and it’s in defense of the Affordable Care Act.
The 30-second spot shows VanOstran in a medical facility, and in it the candidate says his mother, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died in December 2016, was covered by the act, also known as Obamacare for former President Barack Obama.
“We were all scared, but because mom had good coverage through the Affordable Care Act, we were able to focus on being together,” VanOstran, 29, says in the ad, which will run through Aug. 7, the day of Missouri’s primary.
The ad will run on a mixture of cable and broadcast in the St. Louis area, and will be a “significant” buy, his campaign manager, Claire Botnick, said.
VanOstran, a Harvard- and Washington University-educated lawyer, is the top fundraising contender among five men running for the Democratic nomination in Missouri’s 2nd District. He was raised by a single mother after his father died when he was eight.
Wagner, R-Ballwin, has held the seat since 2013 and has won fairly comfortably in two subsequent elections. But national Democrats have targeted the seat as a potential takeover, along with seats held by Reps. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, Ill.; and Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, Ill., in districts that include Metro East.
VanOstran’s ad faults Wagner and Trump for attempting to repeal and replace Obamacare without having “an alternative vision for how to solve the health care crisis in this country.”
The Republican-controlled Congress failed to repeal and replace Obamacare outright, despite campaign promises. But the Republican Congress and the Trump administration have passed laws or issued administrative actions that have taken away the individual mandate and other underpinnings of the controversial act.
“So when Donald Trump and Ann Wagner tried to take health care away from millions, I couldn’t sit back,” Van Ostran says in the ad. “In Congress, I’ll fight cuts to health care and protect your Medicare and Social Security.”
VanOstran reported having roughly $541,000 cash in his campaign account as of July 1, after a robust second quarter in which he raised more than $300,000.