Dr. Usha Jain came off a loss in the Orange County Commission District 1 race this year with optimism: at least she had learned what the political process was like.
Now she’s running for two seats in the 2018 election – Governor and State Representative from House District 44.
The way she explains it, she wants to make a difference in any way she can. She said her plan is to feel out the support she gets on both the governor run and the HD 44 run and then decide which one to go with once qualifying time comes in 2018.
The governor seat will be up for grabs in 2018, and HD 44 is currently represented by Eric Eisnaugle.
Currently, Jain works as a doctor, operating from her walk-in clinic on Apopka-Vineland Road in the further-west region of the county.
In Jain’s office, patients still go to the desk like any other such clinic and schedule appointments and fill out forms. When one walks in the front door, they’re greeted with a pile of ‘Usha Jain for Governor’ posters, ready to be set up at a moment’s notice. At the other wall of the room is a traditional Indian shrine from Jain’s home country, adorned with statues of traditional Indian figures Shiva and Ganesh and with the warm, rich aroma from candles wafting over the room.
Jain doesn’t want to give up her medical practice, she said, and she detests politics-as-usual for its dependence on big-money donors. She’s running a different kind of campaign – one based on fighting injustice.
“I’ve helped people in a medical way,” she said. “Now I want to do it for other reasons. It would be great to go beyond medicine. Everybody should get equal justice and more.”
She said that could also tie into her medical practice – if people were treated more fairly across the board, their health would also improve.
So far as policy positions, Jain said she could “go on all day,” but only elaborated on two: she didn’t want to take money from donors or be beholden to anyone, and she thinks people should work rather than taking government handouts.
“People on Medicaid can sit in the ER any time,” she said. “They don’t have the incentive to work. People on Medicaid or food stamps or who get cash from the government – do they work? No. We have to think about how we’re spending money. Everybody should be equal and put to work.”
She said she still believed America was the greatest country in the world – and that she wanted to do her part, however she could.
“I want to do hard work, put my faith in God and believe in America,” she said. “I am 65 years old. I’m done with my family. My kids are grown up. I don’t need to take any money.”