Al Gross stopped in Kodiak Monday along the campaign trail for Dan Sullivan’s senate seat, after participating in the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce’s fisheries debate that Saturday before. Gross stumped below the gazebo on Kodiak’s dock to a standing audience shielded from the rain under a tent. He made an appeal to Kodiak’s working community, describing his own personal experience in fishing.
“I ended up having to buy my own boat at 14 and stayed in it because I really liked to work hard and catch fish,” said Gross.
Gross also spoke about two features in particular unique to Kodiak; the importance of the ferry system, and Kodiak’s abundance of renewable energy.
“So I’ll be a huge advocate for restoring the ferries back to coastal Alaska, I want to be very proactive on the environment and moving towards clean renewable energy like you have here in Kodiak, I mean, you are the model for renewable energy,” said Gross.
Gross put healthcare front and center in his speech, and believes that the best experience for drafting healthcare legislation is healthcare experience.
“The Senate has 80% attorneys. And there’s only three doctors and the surgeons’ approaches to, you know, assess the situation, figure out a plan, fix the problem, and then move on to the next person or the next patient and the next problem. And lawyers spend an awful lot of time talking about things but they don’t actually get things done,” said Gross.
Gross was the first candidate to visit Kodiak since the fisheries debate, which was the first of his political career. Gross is running as an independent, and challenging Republican Senator Dan Sullivan, who is campaigning on his achievements as an incumbent. FiveThirtyEight, a website that offers poll analysis, put Sullivan ahead of Gross by four points, 48 to 44. That result was taken on October 6th, several days before the fisheries debate. The election will be held November 3rd.