Cardiologist Rob Steele is running for Congress–from Ann Arbor, as a Republican–against Democrat John Dingell. At a fund-raiser in Barton Hills at the end of May, he schmoozed, moving from couple to couple and introducing his wife and two of their four kids. Meanwhile, a campaign worker shook hands, made name tags, and, of course, took checks. Asked how much money he needs to raise to seriously challenge Dingell, Steele smiled and said, “a lot.”

The party’s host, who asked to remain anonymous, isn’t expecting the Fifteenth Congressional District to turn Republican in the next four months. Still, he figured it was “important to have someone credible waving the party flag against Dingell.” Steele certainly does. While Dingell has advocated health care reform since he was first elected in 1955, Steele–co-founder of Ann Arbor-based Michigan Heart PC, with 300 employees and more than thirty doctors–writes on his website that “the new health care plan is an example of legislative malpractice, including both a misdiagnosis and the wrong high-priced prescription.”

Steele collected $16,000 at the party, but it’s likely he’ll need a lot more than that to worry Dingell. The “Dean of the House” won reelection in 2008 with 71 percent of the vote, and, at eighty-three, shows no signs of slowing down. “Maybe if the throw-the-bums-out movement grows,” Steele’s Barton Hills host mused, “he has an outside chance.”