Feb. 12, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Freshman Picks Dentist With Sarah Palin Ties as Chief of Staff

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"Congressional campaigning is exhausting work and sometimes both candidates and campaign managers need to step back and take a break," the newsletter read. "So it was that Dr. Gosar and Dr. Robinson spent a few days in Aleknagik catching fish."

Van Flein recently represented the dental group in a 2006 claim against an Alaskan tribal health service that was allegedly practicing dentistry without a license, according to court records. He filed an amicus curiae brief in 2007 on behalf of the group in the appeal of an Alaska dentist convicted of overprescribing drugs to female patients and manipulating them into having sex with him for more drugs.

Gosar raked in more campaign cash from the health sector than from any other industry. Five of his top seven donors are related to the dental field and the American Dental Association spent almost $170,000 in independent expenditures toward his campaign, according to the FEC. Gosar's campaign was orchestrated by fellow dentists, including Arizona practitioners Brien Harvey, Rob Roda and Brian Powley. The latter was also an officer on the American Dental Association's Council on Government Affairs.

Gosar is the only Arizona candidate Palin endorsed during the general election campaign. (Earlier in the year she supported her 2008 running mate, Sen. John McCain, in a Republican primary.) In July, Palin called Gosar "a bold man" who "shares our belief that the federal government's reckless spending is putting us on a dangerous path towards insolvency."

"The good doctor knows that true job creation comes from the private sector, not government; and he will work to rein in the fed's long arm and get our economy moving again by getting government out of the way," she said when endorsing Gosar on Facebook.

But Gosar downplayed the amount of influence that Palin will have on his legislative work. "I know Gov. Palin is a classy lady and has her head on straight," Gosar said. "When it comes to politics, it's nice to be mired with Sarah Palin. But I'm Paul Gosar. I'm my own person."

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