Ada M. Fisher
October 21, 1947
|Residence||Salisbury, North Carolina|
|Known for||Medical career, political campaigns|
Ada M. Fisher (born October 21, 1947, in Durham, North Carolina) is a retired physician from Salisbury, North Carolina and a frequent Republican candidate for office. She challenged incumbent Mel Watt in North Carolina's 12th Congressional district in 2004 and 2006. Fisher has said that she would like to be the first black Republican female elected to Congress.
Early life and education
Fisher is the daughter of Rev. Miles Mark Fisher of Durham, North Carolina, himself the son of a former slave and his Seminole Indian wife. Rev. Fisher was also a Republican, as was her grandfather, who was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation when he was 10 years old. Fisher attended Durham public schools, graduating from Hillside High School with honors. She then graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in biology.
Upon receiving her medical degree, Fisher participated in a residency at the University of Rochester in family medicine. She later ran a rural North Carolina health clinic and a 16-county substance abuse program. In addition, she worked for two Fortune 500 companies, including medical director for Amoco in Chicago. Before retiring in 2000 due to a leg disability, Fisher served as Chief of Occupational Health Services at the W.G. "Bill" Hefner Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salisbury.
Fisher is a former member of the board of education for the Rowan–Salisbury School System. In addition, she has served on the boards of trustees of Barber-Scotia College (in Concord) and Preservation NC.
At the 2008 North Carolina Republican Party state convention, held at the Joseph Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, Fisher was elected as the National Republican Committeewoman for North Carolina. Running against the incumbent, establishment candidate Mary Frances Forrester, wife of state Sen. Jim Forrester, Fisher's win was viewed as a surprise, underdog victory. Fisher was re-elected in 2012, again defeating Forrester.
As of the end of 2008, Fisher was one of three African Americans on the RNC. She endorsed Katon Dawson for RNC chairman that year. Fisher later called for the winner of the RNC race, Michael S. Steele, to resign after less than two months in office.
Fisher ran for the United States Senate in 2002 in the Republican primary against Elizabeth Dole, who went on to win the general election; Fisher placed fourth in a field of seven Republican candidates. Fisher protested during the campaign that she was not allowed to participate in television forums featuring only two of the Republican candidates, and after the election, she filed a complaint regarding Dole's residency requirement. She ran against incumbent Congressman Mel Watt of the North Carolina's 12th congressional district in 2004 and 2006. In 2008, she ran for the North Carolina General Assembly from North Carolina's 77th House district.
In 2004, Watt won with 67% of the vote, with Fisher gaining 60% of the vote in more Republican Davidson County. Fisher raised $400,000 to oppose Watt in 2006, with most of the money spent on direct mail; she said the national Republican Party had not given her "one dime of support," but local organizations were supportive. In 2008, Fisher told Talking Points Memo that the fundraising organization she had hired had given her back only $30,000 of the $400,000 she had raised in the cycle, directing the rest to its affiliated private vendors, in what echoed previous complaints listed at TPM.
In 2006, Fisher claimed that Watt ignored his constituents at the expense of travel related to his chairmanship of the Congressional Black Caucus. Her campaign theme was "Get a Doctor in the House" and she recommended a "prescription" composed of 10 platform planks. Fisher said that she had put 73,000 miles on her car traveling the six counties of the 12th District for her campaign.
— Ada Fisher, "North Carolina Conservative"
Fisher has written in The North Carolina Conservative that the Republican Party has a long history of black candidates for office, including the first black senator Hiram Revels and the first black congressman, Joseph Rainey, and four of the first six black senators. Fisher continued: "In the rush to find fault while looking for a rightward turn, people forget that it was the Democrats who brought in poll taxes which kept us from voting; were behind the Jim Crow laws which separated us into white and colored; vigorously supported the Ku Klux Klan; and kept us out of their party and from unions and opportunities dictating a say in the course of our lives... The Great Society of Lyndon Johnson took on segregation but, in so doing to some, possibly undermined the social fabric of an independent people in its push for a safety net, which abolished individual responsibility and accountability for behavior and actions."
Fisher has mentioned that George W. Bush has brought a level of diversity to his cabinet "like no other," mentioning Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Rod Paige, and Alphonso Jackson. She noted in 2006, "No administration had previously had more than two African-Americans in such significant Cabinet-level positions."
Fisher supports a flat tax, small businesses ("many of which started in our communities"), gun rights ("which [have] often made a difference in the African-American community's security"), and expanded education options. She opposes gay marriage (once saying, "Marriage ought to be between one man and one woman at one time, and I'm still waiting.") She opposes spending out of the Social Security Trust Fund ("I like the lock box").
She is in favor of tort reform for medical malpractice lawsuits and a free enterprise system of health care: "If you socialize medicine, you will lose the creativity and innovation that brings us new drugs and new treatments. You'll also stifle physician choice and opportunities in medicine."
Fisher does not support open borders for reasons of national security, nor does she support illegal immigration to the United States or language accommodations for driver's licenses for those who do not speak English. She has called President Bush's guest worker proposals "amnesty" that will depress wages for Americans: "It is not correct to say undocumented workers do jobs, which Americans won't do. If these jobs were required to pay minimum wages there are thousands of out of work people who would be glad to fill them. It should not be lost on the American public that the number of unskilled Americans out of work approximates the number of illegal residents in this country. Exploiting illegal residents ultimately depresses wages for everyone." Fisher continued, "As a black woman, I will never support any provision to relax borders with Mexico when we keep turning Haitians away and sending them back to situations we know are equally bad if not worst... granddaughter of a free African boy who was made a slave on reaching these shores and granddaughter of his Seminole Indian wife, I am mad that my peoples were stripped of our cultures and languages to improve this nation and now see others advance with minimum standards set for their citizenship as they become our new underclass."
To stem illegal immigration, Fisher proposes random checks on companies known to hire illegal workers, fines and penalties for companies found guilty, deportation of illegal workers, adoption of tamper-proof photo visas for non-citizens entering the United States. She believes money sent to Mexico to compensate Social Security taxes paid by illegal workers (the Social Security Totalization Agreement) should instead be given to states whose social services are strapped from illegal immigration, and the United States should commence oil drilling in Mexico, helping Mexicans find jobs and business profits while helping to solve the United States' energy needs. Fisher also believes national standards for driver's licenses should be invoked, as well as voter identification cards.
In August 2008, she emailed a link to a YouTube video of rearranged clips of President Barack Obama "indulging the darkest conspiracy theories about himself." She wrote "This tape should be investigated and verified. I am not an expert on tapes but if this isn't doctored we have a constitutional issue of humongous proportions to deal with."
Fisher was never married but adopted two sons, now adults.
- "Ada M. Fisher (R)". Washington Post. 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Fisher challenges Watt again in 12th Congressional District". Davidson County Dispatch. 2006-10-30. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Ada M. Fisher (NC)". Project Vote Smart biography. 2008. Archived from the original on October 11, 2012. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Dr. Ada Fisher's statement on Helms' death". The Salisbury Post. 2008-07-04. Archived from the original on 4 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Black Americans and the Republican Party, A Forgotten Legacy by Dr. Ada Fisher". The North Carolina Conservative. 24 February 2006. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
- Fisher, Ada (August 17, 2005). "Clash of Brown vs. Black". ALI-PAC. Archived from the original on January 25, 2016. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- "If I were a rich man". Independent Weekly. 2004-09-08. Retrieved 2008-10-16.[permanent dead link]
- "Ada Fisher, unconventional Republican, speaks her mind". Archived from the original on July 18, 2014. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
- "Fisher elected to RNC". News and Observer Under the Dome blog. June 7, 2008. Archived from the original on October 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Ada Fisher elected GOP committeewoman". Greensboro News and Record. June 8, 2008. Archived from the original on October 12, 2008. Retrieved October 16, 2008.
- "With eyebrow raising speeches, GOP names new national committee members". News and Observer: Under the Dome. June 2, 2012. Archived from the original on June 5, 2012.
- "Fisher again in the spotlight". News & Observer: Under the Dome. Archived from the original on December 31, 2008.
- CNN.com: RNC member asks Steele to resign as chairman
- "North Carolina Republican says Fundraising Firm "Screwed Me"". Talking Points Memo. 2008-07-07. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Clash of Brown vs. Black (Opinion)". ALIPAC. 2004-08-20. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2008-10-16.