At a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s health subcommittee today, the Director of the National Cancer Institute Norman “Ned” Sharpless was announced as the next acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. The current commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, recently announced that he was resigning to spend more time with his family.
Publicly available records from the Federal Elections Commission reveal that Ned Sharpless has contributed thousands of dollars to Democrat candidates for federal office, including Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012. A review of FEC filings show:
- Between March and October of 2008, Sharpless contributed to three Democrat candidates including a $250 contribution to Barack Obama and $2,000 in contributions to Kay Hagan, of North Carolina. Hagan beat Republican incumbent U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole that year.
- In 2010, Sharpless contributed to Cal Cunningham, a North Carolina Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, the year of Senator Richard Burr’s 55-43 victory over Elaine Marshall, who beat Cunningham in a runoff.
- In August of 2012, Sharpless contributed $500 to Obama for America and $500 to the Obama Victory Fund.
- In 2014, Sharpless contributed $2,600, the maximum amount permitted by law, to Democrat Senator Kay Hagan, who was defeated by Republican Thom Tillis.
Sharpless has not been announced as President Trump’s formal nominee and there may be other candidates under consideration for the position, which faces a Senate confirmation.
Earlier today, Americans for Tax Reform’s Paul Blair issued a statement on Sharpless:
“As the head of the National Cancer Institute, Ned Sharpless knows firsthand the potential benefit of transitioning millions of adult smokers away from cigarettes with proven-effective and less harmful e-cigarettes. However long he’s in charge, I’m hopeful he’ll have less of an interest in scaring suburban moms and more of an interest in reducing the cancer and disease associated with cigarette use by preserving the ability of adults to access a wide range of vapor products. He can begin by fulfilling the perhaps forgotten promise of Scott Gottlieb to issue clear guidance on how to bring new reduced risk products to market.”