BETTENDORF, Iowa – Dr. Mary Kathleen Figaro of Bettendorf on Tuesday announced she will seek the Democratic nomination in Iowa Senate District 47, representing Bettendorf, Eldridge, and Le Claire. The newly drawn district is an open seat following redistricting.
State Senator Roby Smith, R-Davenport, represents part of the new district, but was drawn into a different district with State Senator Jim Lykam, D-Davenport, and opted to run for state treasurer instead of running for re-election in the Iowa Senate.
“I feel called to run for State Senate because Iowans need a champion for families and public health. Throughout my career as a physician, I have prioritized being an advocate for patients and families who entrust me with their health. As State Senator, I will give my constituents the same care and attention I give my patients. Iowans deserve better health outcomes: we need more affordable care, more accessible care, and higher quality care. We can make our communities healthier by prioritizing our health – including mental health care – and that’s exactly what I will do in the State Senate,” Figaro said in a released statement
Figaro was born in Haiti to small business owners who immigrated to New Jersey, where she said she attended and learned the importance of great public schools, as well as the values of hard work and civic engagement. She graduated with high honors from Princeton University, then earned a medical degree from Yale University, and a master’s degree in epidemiology and health services research from Cornell University.
“Mary Kathleen is an excellent candidate for State Senate because of her medical background and her passion for health issues, patient’s needs, and rights of Iowans to access affordable care,” said Jody K. Johnston-Mohr, part owner of Mohr Accounting, a small business located in Moline, Ill. that serves customers in the Quad Cities. “Mary Kathleen is smart and does extensive research, and I trust her to listen to both sides of an issue and make an informed decision about how she votes in the Senate. That’s what we need in a State Senator – someone who will listen and respond to the needs of her constituents, not just vote along party lines.”
Figaro performed research and taught at Vanderbilt University for a decade where she met her husband Alan Rice, and had two children, Victoria and Jonathan. She and her family relocated to Bettendorf six years ago for the high quality schools and to be closer to her husband’s family farm. Figaro has built her own practice in Bettendorf, seeing patients with hormone-related conditions as an endocrinologist.
“I am fortunate to have achieved the American Dream, and I want every hardworking Iowan to be able to achieve their dreams as well. Every Iowan deserves a supportive family, great public schools, and access to the same economic opportunities that were available to me. We need strong, healthy families and strong, healthy communities. You can count on me to advocate for these values every day as your State Senator,” Figaro stated.
She is the second candidate to announce in Iowa Senate District 47. In December, Barry Long of LeClaire, a three-term member of the LeClaire city council, announced in December he would seek the Republican nomination in that district.