Fairfield eye doctor seeks GOP nod to challenge Himes

Another candidate his announced he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Congressman Jim Himes in a district that includes most of Shelton.

Dr. Joseph Bentivegna, an ophthalmologist from Fairfield, said his campaign will focus on what he calls “the massacre of the middle class.”

According to a campaign press release, Bentivegna thinks “major financial interests, high taxes and government regulation are destroying the American Dream — especially in Fairfield County, where there is little job growth or influx of young families.”

Shelton’s Dan Debicella also running

The leading GOP candidate for the Fourth District is considered to be Dan Debicella of Shelton, a former state senator who lost to Himes in 2010. Also running is Carl Higbie of Greenwich, a retired Navy SEAL, and state Rep. John Shaban of Redding.

Himes, a Democrat from Greenwich, was first elected in 2008 when he defeated the longtime Republican incumbent, Christopher Shays.

Most of Shelton is in the Fourth Congressional District, represented by Himes, while a part of it is in the Third District, represented by Democrat Rosa DeLauro.

Has volunteered in Haiti

Bentivegna grew up in western Pennsylvania and attended St. Francis College and Hershey Medical School.

After interning at Brown University, he worked for a year as a volunteer physician in Haiti for the Missionaries of Charity, the order of Mother Teresa. His book on that experience, “The Neglected and Abused: A Physician's Year in Haiti,” is used as a college text, according to the campaign release.

Bentivegna has established an eye surgery clinic in Haiti.

His other books include “When to Refuse Treatment” and a novel, “The Lords of Greenwich.” He has also worked as a syndicated columnist, writing numerous articles on healthcare, tort reform, Haiti and Wall Street reform.

The eye surgeon has been married to his wife Louise for 26 years and they have two grown daughters, Michelle and Elaine.

Wants to repeal Obamacare

Bentivegna said Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a plan extending Medicare to all Americans for medical bills that exceed $50,000 a year.

Families and individuals could then purchase specific insurance plans that fit their needs to help cover the first $50,000 in medical expenses, he said.

Learn more about Bentivegna’s ideas and candidacy at his campaign website, www.joebentivegna.com.