Did you know one of our candidates in the GOP State Senate primary was an orphan who met the love of his life while living on food stamps? They lived in a trailer while he prevailed to graduate from college plus both pharmacy school and medical school. That’s right- Dr. Keith Frederick escaped poverty to become a nationally recognized orthopedic surgeon and public servant with a story that sounds like it was taken from a Hollywood script. Inspired by his journey, I am writing this letter to the editor to discuss the upcoming race between Dr. Frederick, Justin Brown, and Diane Franklin. As a 6th generation Ozarkian, I am grateful for Rep. Franklin’s service to the Lake area and I appreciate Justin Brown’s commitment to continue his father’s great legacy as a servant for the 16th district. However, I have concluded that Keith Frederick is the best choice for us in this election.
Dr. Frederick has taken incredible care of Missourians both in the Legislature and in the operating room. Many of you may remember him for his service to the Lake area as a surgeon for almost twenty years where he raised his oldest children, graduates of Camdenton High School. Since then, Dr. Frederick has been recognized nationally for his work in orthopedics, his advocacy for mental health initiatives, and his creative legislation that has made Missouri a leader and pioneer in healthcare that other states have since emulated. Instead of networking with big donors and rich politicians for endorsements and money, Dr. Frederick has been busy working and fighting for every day people.
Too many of us have lost a parent. I am told that the pain of loss never really goes away, but eventually you get used to it and it makes you stronger. Dr. Frederick lost both of his by the age of 18. Alone and without the financial stability many students enjoy today, Dr. Frederick paid every penny himself to get through college, pharmacy school, and then medical school. Here is a man who truly felt the hardship that few of the politicians in Jefferson City can relate. He told me, “The lowest point I remember, we were out shopping with food stamps and the car had broken down. It was January with snow on the ground. I couldn’t afford to get it repaired. I rode my bike to school and work the rest of the winter until I had saved the money for parts to repair it.” He then repaired it himself. When you go to the ballot box on August (day), ask yourself, how often do we have a Senator who has lived through adversity like that? He started as an orphan living in a trailer on food stamps to become a successful businessman with two doctoral degrees. More importantly, he is a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Dr. Keith Frederick is quite literally a self-made man, and we need more like him in Jefferson City.
Ike Herrman, Osage Beach