The Phoenix Flyer

Dueling doctors, different credentials, in Democratic state Senate primary in North Florida

By: - August 2, 2018 8:56 am

On the “Kayser Enneking for state senate” website, the candidate appears in a typical white doctor’s coat, with a stethoscope around her neck.

Move on to the link for “Kayser’s Story” and the first paragraph highlights her profession: “Kayser Enneking, MD, is a mother of two, a lifelong Gainesville resident and longtime UF Health physician.”

The website’s multiple references want voters to know Enneking is a medical doctor, with a specialty in anesthesiology. She’s also the front runner in the Aug. 28 primary race for the state Senate seat in District 8, which covers Alachua, Putnam and part of Marion County.

Primary opponent Olysha Magruder’s campaign website starts out by saying: “Meet Dr. Olysha.” The website as whole is sprinkled with references to Dr. Olysha.

In a longer bio on the website, Magruder describes family struggles and sacrifices that ultimately led to accomplishments. “Today, I am a doctor,” she states in the campaign bio.

If voters still aren’t sure what kind of doctor Magruder is, they can sift through the website and find one paragraph explaining that Magruder has a Doctorate in Education from the University of Florida.  That bestows an academic title of “doctor.” (She earned that doctoral degree majoring in curriculum and instruction, according to UF.)

To be clear, Magruder is an academic doctor but not a medical doctor, like her opponent.

Both Democratic candidates are highly credentialed, but in different ways. And voters should be aware of the differences in candidate backgrounds as they weigh decisions on primary day.

The winner in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary will face incumbent Republican Sen. Keith Perry in November. Perry is a longtime Gainesville residentand head of the Perry Roofing  company, according to his campaign website. He is not a doctor.





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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.