Koplin backs Murkowski in upcoming Senate race

Cordova Mayor Clay Koplin and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, at ribbon cutting ceremonies June 10 for the Cordova Electric Cooperative’s new battery energy storage system. Photo courtesy of Katrina Hoffman, Prince William Sound Science Center

As former mayor of Cordova, I once said the toughest part is getting everyone to “pull in the same direction.”

This is a challenging goal when you prioritize serving a whole community instead of just the side that may help you get re-elected. This month, I got to spend time with an individual who has demonstrated her effectiveness and proven to have what it takes to get folks pulling in not only the same direction, but Alaska’s direction.

In a busy room full of Cordovans at the Reluctant Fisherman, I got to talk with Sen. Lisa Murkowski during her campaign’s event right here in Cordova. We discussed many of the hot button issues facing our country and state, and the art of bipartisan collaboration she has almost singularly mastered, and which consistently provides real results for Alaska. These results impact fishing ports like ours, delivering billions in infrastructure investments, advances in energy access and innovation, subsistence rights, and more.

While in the U.S. Senate, Lisa puts results before partisan politics. Through her leadership on the Senate Appropriations Committee and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act she was able to secure the necessary funds to help revive and stabilize the services of the Alaska Marine Highway System.

While the powers that be were busy debating whether or not to wear a mask, Sen. Murkowski was hard at work securing over $300 million for fishery assistance in COVID-relief packages and ensuring that our commercial fishing businesses could account for crew member payroll when applying for PPP Loans.

It was her calls to me at home and over weekends while I was mayor that helped deliver Cordova exactly the testing kits and supplies needed to execute the first large salmon fishery for the state in 2020. This action went on to act as a template to keeping our whole fishing industry working. Cordova was awarded the 2020 Municipal League leadership award for our pandemic response, thanks in no small part to our hard-working, silent partner behind the scenes, Sen. Murkowski.

Lisa Murkowski has fought hard for all of us here in Cordova and Prince William Sound. She has the seniority and experience to continue navigating the rough waters we find our politics and economy in. Whether you always agree with her or not, she has always maintained a mindset laser focused on representing her whole community – Alaska.

She has the rare skill of correcting the ship’s course and getting people to pull in the same direction. This type of leadership is getting even harder to come by in an era that values firebrands and backseat pundits.

She has my support for her re-election, and I hope she has yours too. Visit teamlisa2022.com to get involved and join thousands of Alaskans pulling in the same direction as a part of Team Lisa.

Lisa Murkowski on Cordova Energy youtube.com/watch?v=Gpb_B3qM-qE.

Clay Koplin is a lifelong Alaskan residing in Cordova and serves on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Advisory Committee.