Dawn Buckingham, MD

Member, Late Travis (TX) ISD School Board (2014-Present)

Member of the Texas State Senate, District 24 (2017-)

Biographical Info (hometown, experience, specialty):

Austin, Texas, Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery

What other leadership positions have you held (AMA, Specialties, PACs)? When?

I am currently an AMA Delegate from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and was also a Past Chair and Delegate from the Young Physicians Section. In addition to my current position on the Lake Travis ISD Board, I am vice Chair of the State Board for Educator Certification and the Lieutenant Governor’s appointee to the Sunset Commission.

Which Program (Campaign School/Candidate Workshop) did you attend?  Do you remember which year?

Campaign School, 2007 and 2013.

Have you run for public office? What was the result?

I was successful in my run for the Lake Travis ISD school board in the spring of 2014.

Why did you decide to take part in the AMPAC program?

The AMPAC program is amazing.  I look at my notebook often and the information and experience are vital to running an organized and successful campaign.

Have the programs helped in your political/advocacy career? How?

The program has been indispensible in my advocacy and career efforts.  Understanding how to deliver a message effectively and efficiently is an essential tool for everyday life.  It is also very helpful to understand how politicians think and what they are looking for when running.  This knowledge has allowed me to better help many candidates running and has thus allowed me to develop critical friendships with the office holders. Once the friendship is established the conversations are much easier and you become a trusted adviser instead of just someone who wants something from the office holder.

What was the most beneficial component of the AMPAC program for you?

It is very difficult to single out a single component of the system that was the most beneficial.  I would have to say understanding the organizational structure of a campaign is the most important.  Without a well structured campaign the potential for success is limited.

Do you have any words of wisdom for other physicians or spouses who are considering a run for office or actively campaigning for a medicine-friendly candidate?

I would highly recommend the AMPAC campaign school first of all!  Most importantly, I would tell the physicians and the alliance members to get out there and get active.  Engage in the candidates who you support.  Help with their campaigns!  Block walk, put signs out, hold meet and greets, throw fundraisers and most of all have fun making a difference!