1996 Local physician runs for governor

by Scott Hunt, Columbia Basin Herald

Dr. Mohammad Said, a local physician, will appear on this fall’s ballot for governor.

Dr. Said, a Democrat, joins a crowded race of 14 competitors vying for the state’s top position.

Said is a 57-year-old Palestinian native, who settled in Washington14 years ago. Said received his medical degree from the University of Madrid in Spain, and opened a family practice clinic in Sunnyside in 1993. Said now has offices in both Sunnyside and Ephrata and divides his time between the two offices. Prior to opening his Sunnyside clinic, Said worked as a doctor in the emergency room at Sunnyside Community Hospital.

Said claims his platform for governor will reflect his personal views and background.

Agricultural and technological export to Middle Eastern countries are two of the key initiatives the candidate claims he would undertake if elected governor.

“In spite of all the problems in the Middle East, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and I think that peace will prevail and lead to future business opportunities,” Said says. “I would open business relations with Iran, Iraq and Libya for trade with Washington,” Said claims.

In addition, Said claims, he would eliminate food stamps and various other social welfare programs and reform the health care system by providing universal access to basic health care.

Dr. Said admits that he opposes the use of military action by the United States and adds, “It is wrong for the U.S. to be policeman to the world.”

Said says that as governor he would oppose the use of the state’s national guard for military actions. Rather he would use them for state emergencies and fighting forest fires.

Running on a limited personal campaign fund of $15,000, Said claims that he is not a front runner and cannot compete against other better financed candidates. Donations to Said campaign are trickling in very slowly and all have come from out of state, he admits.

Tonight Said will appear in Seattle in a debate with other gubernatorial candidates, including Norm Rice, Gary Locke and Jay Inslee.