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Dr. Rick Schaefer announces his bid for Bates' seat

Dr. Richard Schaefer has announced his candidacy today for the Senate District 3 seat left vacant by the unexpected death of fellow physician Alan Bates.

Retired from active practice, Schaefer was the director of Asante Rogue Valley Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program for the last 10 years, according to a media release.

Schaefer, a Democrat, said elected office was not on his radar until Bates, a personal friend, died suddenly while on fishing trip Aug. 5. A cause of death has not yet been determined.

“Like Alan, I have a passion for protecting our environment and concern over climate change and the affect it will have on our communities, the state, nation and, indeed, the world," he said in the release.

“To be clear we have remaining some of our greatest challenges in the arenas of mental health and proper funding of public schools from pre-K to higher education; these are also priorities of mine.”

Schaefer graduated from Stanford University, then attended medical school at the University of Rochester in New York, where he completed his internship and first year of residency. He completed his residency and a fellowship in cardiology at the University of Oregon Medical School in 1972.

Schaefer has served on the boards of the Rogue Valley Family YMCA, St. Mary’s School and Grant Committee of the Gordon Elwood Foundation. He continues to serve as the consulting cardiologist at the Rogue Community Health Center. He has resided in Medford for 40 years.

Rick Schaefer