Dr. Cheryl Russo believes our state will be only as strong as our families are. From her early days learning a relentless work ethic from her entrepreneurial Italian grandparents and parents, to the last two decades in Charlotte shuttling her two kids to children’s museums, orchestra practice, and the zoo – she knows that today’s families are stretched thin. As a cardiologist, she’s devoted her life to preserving another Christmas dinner or birthday party with the ones who matter most to her patients. Now, fighting for Charlotte families motivates her to step into a campaign for State Senate.

Cheryl and her three siblings heard directly from their Italian immigrant grandfather that America is a land of opportunity because we have the freedom to work hard. Italian cheese was the family specialty; her grandfather worked at Polly-O Cheese while his brother started Sorrento Cheese. The American free enterprise system made it all possible for that Greatest Generation to give a better future for their children and grandchildren. Cheryl knows Charlotte businesses – of every size – need freedom from high taxes and bureaucratic red tape for them to innovate and create lasting, good-paying jobs and a better future for our children.

After completing her residency in Medicine and fellowship in Cardiology at Duke, Cheryl moved to Charlotte to help care for her mother who endured a long-term illness and to work for Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute where she continues to serve today. She met her husband, Dr. Justin Favaro, at Duke while he trained as an oncologist; they married after he moved to Charlotte a year later.

Shaking up the boys’ club in Raleigh is far from intimidating to Cheryl. In 2010, Charlotte Woman featured her on its cover for being the first female cardiologist in Charlotte who stayed longer than a year. She’s repeatedly earned “Top Doctor” by Charlotte Magazine for her commitment to patient care because she’s always thought of the patient as “the most important person in the world to somebody” and treated each person that way. She’ll take the same approach in Raleigh.

Cheryl and her family attend St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, where she has taught and served in several ministries, including the Bioethics Committee. An avid animal lover, she has four cats and one sweet but mischievous dog.