Ephrata’s Dr. Said enters race for 13th District House seat

August 6, 1984

Ephrata physician Dr. Mohammad Said, a two-year resident of the Columbia Basin, has filed for the 13th District house seat currently held by Republican Glyn Chandler of Moses Lake. Dr. Said, a Democrat, joins Jim Curdy of Mattawa and Martin Pedersen of Ellensburg in a three- way Democratic primary battle to determine which candidate will face Chandler in the November general election. The primary issues Dr. Said said he would address in his campaign are expansion of foreign trade, particularly Basin agricultural products, and health care issues. Although he has held a life-long interest in politics, the candidate said he is still first a family physician and will continue his full-time practice if elected. “I want my patients to know I’m not quitting,” he said. “I feel I will be able to use my free time to serve the public through politics and I will have a full-time partner in the near future who will cover for me during the legislative session if I am elected.” Dr. Said said one of his primary goals if elected is to use his background and experience to help develop agricultural markets and investment, particularly with Middle Eastern countries. “During 22 years in the west, first in Europe, then in Canada and finally the United States, I have established good relation- ships overseas, particularly with the oil producing countries. I have met with businessmen, dignitaries and heads of state and I just might be able to use that knowledge and those relationships to bring business to the district through investment and through direct marketing of our agricultural products.” Dr. Said said one of his first acts if elected would be to lead a delegation in the spring to explore trade possibilities. “Apples, hay and wheat, all important products of the district, are in great demand in the oil producing countries,” he said.

The candidate also said he would encourage those countries to send students to the district to study at such institutions as Big Bend College in Moses Lake and Central Washington University in Ellensburg. “They are very excited about the prospect of investing in the State of Washington,” Dr. Said noted in explaining his optimism about the possibility of expanding business ties between the 13th District and the Middle East. Health care is a major public concern and an area in which he said he felt he could be effective as a legislator. “I am board certified in internal medicine and family practice with a Ph.D. in preventive medicine and a diploma in public health and feel I will be effective in legislative matters related to health care,” he said. Dr. Said said he would focus in the legislature on cost cutting measures and would emphasize preventive medicine such as immunization for senior citizens and chronically ill patients.

Medical malpractice is another major area of concern, according to Dr. Said. A limit is needed on malpractice insurance costs because they are having an adverse impact on health providers because of the fear of malpractice suits and in- creased costs, he said. One of the most important areas of health care Dr. Said said he would like to address is the general acceptance of Medicare assignments for Medicare patients by all health care providers. “Most health care providers do not now accept assignment of Medicare patients,” he said. Dr. Said said he is a strong supporter of the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) campaign and would sponsor keg registration legislation such as already exists in Oregon as a way of tracing beer kegs back to their origin of purchase as a means of cracking down on the sale of beer to minors. Gambling is another area of concern that would be addressed if elected, he said. “Gambling is a cruel and terrible thing which benefits few and destroys many and I would sponsor legislation which would set aside a percentage of gambling proceeds in the state to provide treatment for compulsive gamblers and their families” Dr. Said said.

He was born in Haifa, Palestine in 1938 and graduated from medical school in Grenada, Spain in 1967. Prior to that he worked as a teacher in Jordan and Saudi Arabia for five years.

He has been in medical practice in the United States for more than 10 years and lives on a farm south of Ephrata with his wife, Nadia and three children.