Shadi Ayyas

Key Facts

Party Democrat
Status Challenger

Background

Ayyas graduated from the American University of Beirut with a Bachelor of Science in 1994 and graduated from St. Mary’s School of Medicine in the Cook Islands with an M.D. in 1999. Ayyas volunteered at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and worked in internal medicine at the Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and at the University of Connecticut Medical Center. Ayyas also worked as a physician at the American Gulf Medical Center and the Gulf Diagnostic Center Hospital. He moved to Virginia in 2013 and worked as a private practitioner, an urgent care physician with MedExpress, and a medical director at MEDICS. He spent two years as an Internist for the Veterans Evaluation Services and currently serves as Regional Medical Director for a correctional health services company for prisons in Virginia. In 2020, Ayyas ran for election to the U.S. House to represent the 5th Congressional District of Virginia, but Ayyas withdrew prior to the Democratic primary. In 2018, Ayyas ran for election to the U.S. House to represent the 10th Congressional District but withdrew prior to the filing deadline. He previously worked with grassroots leaders on the Obama campaign. 

Key Issues

Healthcare

Ayyas wants to use his medical experience to make healthcare more affordable, and believes healthcare is a right. To address the opioid crisis, Ayyas supported the Care Act and Medicaid expansion programs and wants to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for addictive prescription drugs. He is currently working as a doctor on policies for substance abuse treatments in rural regions. He is against cuts to Medicare.

Economy

Ayyas supports regulation of broadband internet, building of infrastructure, paid family leave, project labor agreements, and healthcare and retirement benefits. He wants to create a small business committee and supports the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage act. He also supports unions like the Building and Construction Trades Union and looks to increase the minimum wage. He is against cuts to social security.

Education

Ayyas supports mandating a course on civics every year and increasing funding to schools in order to increase teacher pay. He wants students to earn money to pay for college while studying by providing training for jobs in public service, high-tech research, and the Peace Corps.

Agriculture

Ayyas supports innovative approaches to agriculture to diversify operations and wants to fund low-interest loans to support beginners in farming. He wants to include farmers in the Medicaid expansion program.

Civil Rights

Ayyas supports pay equality, criminal justice reform, and gender equality. He wants to ensure police receive adequate training and is a member of  All On The Line, a grassroots organization that fights for equality, civil rights, and improving the voting process. He supports abortion and wants to restore voting rights for former felons. He wants to reduce racism in the criminal justice system.

Environment

Ayyas supports investing in research in alternative energy sources, transitioning away from fossil fuels, developing energy job opportunities for young people, and increasing awareness about climate change.

Veterans

Ayyas wants to increase funding to the Veterans Affairs (VA) and improve management of care, overhaul VA IT systems, expand telehealth services, and improve healthcare access for female veterans. 

Immigration

Ayyas supports comprehensive immigration reform focused on interior security and fair processing.

Guns

Ayyas wants to restart research on guns, require hospitals to collect and submit data on shooting victims treated, and protect the Second Amendment.

Endorsements

Michael Brooks, M.D., Virginia Voter; J. Connolly, Virginia Voter; Shadi Gojamli, Virginia Voter; Mark Miller, M.P.H., Virginia Voter; Anthony Nozzoli, Virginia Voter; Kamal Sinan, M.D., Virginia Voter; Robert Norgrove, P.A., Virginia Voter; Amir Zandinjad, Virginia Voter; Annette Slafter, Virginia Voter

Sources

Ballotpedia
Shadi Ayyas
EINNews
Loudon Times-Mirror