I’m tired of partisan politics. My political leanings are not confined to the borders of a red or blue box. And neither are the inclinations of most. We exist across a spectrum of beliefs. However, as the general election approaches it feels like we are choosing sides, and I fear an aftermath where we continue with politicians holding lines reflecting party loyalty over the obligation to their district or state.
I have increasing appreciation for representatives who stand their ground to represent the interests of their electorate. Rep. Louise Stutes stood for coastal communities in the wake of politically driven budget cuts that undermined our economy and services. Sen. Lisa Murkowski demonstrated courage and conviction in the senate, working across the aisle to cosponsor legislation. Our lawmakers must seek bipartisan solutions.
This is why I’m supporting independent Dr. Al Gross for U.S. Senate. Gross recognized the merit in bipartisanship when his father, a Democrat, was appointed Attorney General by Republican Gov. Jay Hammond. Together they founded the Alaska Permanent Fund to benefit all Alaskans. This relationship was instrumental in Gross’ decision to become an independent.
I admire Gross’ independence and value what his background signifies for fisheries and our coastal economies. He’s held two serious occupations: fishing and medicine. As a gillnetter who has longlined, trolled, and seined, he understands communities where owner operators are key financial drivers. He understands our business challenges including our need for non-employer-based healthcare.
I know the strength and liability of Cordova’s fishing families. We are self-starters, innovative, independent, and resilient. Yet we operate in a hazardous occupation where injury threatens to reduce or shut down our livelihood. We need real healthcare legislation and less partisan debate. As a physician and public health advocate, Al Gross will bring real experience to the senate floor.