Gross files as independent in U.S. Senate race

Dr. Alan Gross, a commercial fisherman and orthopedic physician, with his wife, Monica Gross, filed documents in Anchorage on July 2 to run as an independent in the 2020 U.S. Senate race. Accepting his paperwork was Doreen Barber, regional assistant supervisor at the Division of Elections in Anchorage. Photo by Margaret Bauman/for The Cordova Times

Dr. Alan Gross, a commercial fisherman and orthopedic surgeon born and raised in Juneau, filed in Anchorage on July 2 as an independent to run in the 2020 race for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska.

Gross said he’s running because of his deep concerns for the future of Alaska, and health care, the economy, education and jobs in particular.

The announcement came on the heels of several months of what Gross described as a listening tour of communities all over Alaska, from Southeast and Southwest communities to Bethel, Fairbanks, the Kenai Peninsula, Nome, Kotzebue and the North Slope. Gross launched the listening tour on May 14 in southern Southeast Alaska on his fishing boat, and has met with dozens of people, ranging from University of Alaska President Jim Johnson to 2019 Iditarod Trail race champion Pete Kaiser. He is also planning a trip to Cordova, he said.

Reforming heath care and bringing down the high cost of drugs are on top of his list of priorities, he said. Health care needs non-partisan help to bring down those costs and increase care, he said.

In conversations of people from all over the state, Gross said he found residents also very concerned about the future of Alaska’s education system, jobs and the economy.

Gross is the son of Avrum Gross, who served as Alaska Attorney General for Gov. Jay Hammond, the father of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend, and Shari Gross, the first executive director of United Fishermen of Alaska and founder of the League of Women Voters in Alaska.

In a campaign introductory video released via at Gross noted that he paid his way through medical school with earnings from commercial fishing. He practiced orthopedic surgery in Southeast Alaska for over 20 years before returning to school to earn a master’s degree in public health from UCLA in 2015.

Gross, 57, is still affiliated with the Petersburg Medical Center in Petersburg, Alaska, and continues to be engaged in commercial fishing, although he’s taking a break from both while on the campaign trail.

His wife, Monica, a physician and health care consultant, is currently employed by Agnew::Beck Consulting in Anchorage, but said she would be spending time on the campaign trail.

The couple, who how live in Anchorage, have four grown children.