Dr. Doug Butzier made a personal mark in medicine and in politics until a plane crash took the life of this year’s Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate, colleagues said Tuesday.
Butzier was piloting a single-engine plane the crashed at about 11 p.m. Monday near Dubuque Regional Airport. He was the only occupant. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.
“He could get dressed up in a suit and talk in front of a big crowd, but at the end of the day he was just a man of the people,” said Lee Hieb, the Libertarian candidate for Iowa governor. Hieb is also a physician. “Iowa and the cause of liberty are diminished by his passing.”
Butzier served as president of the medical staff at Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque and as a member of the Mercy Board of Trustees.
“Dr. Butzier was one of the pillars of the emergency department for the past 17 years,” said Russell Knight, Mercy president, in a news release. “His influence was felt throughout the hospital.”
The Libertarian Party of Iowa said in a statement that “Doug was an outstanding person with a strong passion to help others.”
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said Butzier’s Piper PA-46 crashed Monday while on approach to the airport, about a mile north of the runway.
Lunsford said the plane took off from Ankeny Regional Airport about an hour before the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.
There are six candidates on the ballot to join the U.S. Senate from Iowa. Major-party candidates Joni Ernst and Bruce Braley issued statements about Butzier’s death.
Ernst said she was “deeply saddened to learn the tragic news about Dr. Doug Butzier. I appreciated Doug’s willingness to contribute to this important election. In addition to representing Libertarians in this campaign, Doug served his community as an ER doctor and medical leader. Gail and I will keep Doug’s family in our thoughts and prayers as they mourn their untimely loss.”
Braley said he was “shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden and tragic death of Doug Butzier. I have enormous respect for anyone who puts their name forward as a candidate for public office. Carolyn and I send our thoughts and prayers to Dr. Butzier’s wife and family during this difficult time.”
Read More:Senate candidate killed in plane crash.