Al Gross makes it official: Running for Senate - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, January 21, 2022
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Al Gross makes it official: Running for Senate

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A nonpracticing surgeon who lives in Petersburg and Anchorage has made it official: Dr. Al Gross is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan.

Gross is a registered nonpartisan but will attempt to run in the Alaska Democratic Party’s primary, which is open to non-Democrats who are either nonpartisan or undeclared. If he wins the primary, he’ll appear under the Democrat label on the General Election ballot.

Gross formed an exploratory committee in May and then toured the state before filing for office this week. His first campaign ad rollout indicates that his campaign consultant, Mark Putnam, is copy and pasting creative work he did when he helped former Sen. Mark Begich in 2014.

Back then, Putnam produced an ad with Begich riding his snow machine in an ad that some loved and others laughed at, but that left Begich with a frostbit right ear from the -40 escapade.

Mark Begich lost that election to rising star Dan Sullivan. Putnam’s first ad for Gross is basically a remake of the snow machine ad, but with Gross on his fishing boat in Southeast Alaska.

You can view the ad at this link.

Putnam also worked on President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and for several other prominent Democrats. He doesn’t work for Republicans.

Nonetheless, Al Gross wants voters to know he is purely nonpartisan. His particular issue is health care, and he is advocating for a plan that would make Medicare expanded for everyone. He is also pro-abortion, and believes in a federally established $15 minimum wage. He will fight climate change and hydrocarbons, and is opposed to the Pebble Mine.

As a nonpartisan, he has a tough road because there will likely be other entrants into the Democrats’ primary, and he’ll have to spend money just to appear on the ballot under the Democrat label in the 2020 General Election.

Unless, of course, the Democrats can’t find someone to run against Sen. Sullivan.

Read Must Read Alaska’s initial story in May about Gross’ exploratory committee.



Al Gross forming exploratory committee for U.S. Senate

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Calling himself “Independent” is just a common Lie that Demoncrats use because they think it will help them get elected. If he was truthful he would run as a Demoncrat/CPUSA.

  • So Suzanne, I’m curious why you think the Begich ad and the Gross video are the same. The Begich ad talks about taking on the federal government to get a road built. The video for Al Gross tells his personal story. Other than the fact that they’re both outside in a real Alaskan environment — one on snow and the other on the water, I don’t see the similarities that you label as “cutting and pasting.” Oh, wait, they both have an image of the state of Alaska at the end. That must be it. There are plenty of political ads that ARE cutting and pasting, and I could probably find examples in your speeches for Governor Parnell that I could attack that way. But on its face, your assertion is silly as would be evident to anyone who actually looks at both ads. Mark Begich and Al Gross are two very different people with very different stories. But they are both authentic Alaskans born and raised in the state (as was I) and are willing to do something a little different from the usual political ad to make their point. You can disagree with them on partisan grounds. But at least be up front about that rather than trying to be an ad critic.

    • So born and raised makes one more Alaskan than someone who worked and served and did whatever it took to eventually get to Alaska to become a viable and productive part of our great state? Or am I reading into your comment.

  • I am neither a gillnetter nor a combat vet. I have been all over the State and the world on boats (and snow machines). I can only guess what would happen to a Lt. Colonel (and his men) in Afghanistan if he were in a tough situation and couldn’t think for himself.

  • Why is it that Democrats like Al Gross and Alyse Galvin believe they can’t win a statewide race unless they pretend to not be a Democrat? Maybe its because everything Democrats run is a disaster!

    Now we have a guy who is a non-practicing doctor pretending to be a non-practicing Democrat who is as a freshman US Sen is going to fix healthcare. I think the medical term is DOA.

  • Mark,
    Basing an argument/comment on semantics, not fact, is unbecoming of a “professional”, no matter what the subject. The similarities of Begich and Gross, is that they both have the same leftist agenda in store for Alaska, if we ever make the mistake of electing them. They seem to both think more out of control spending will make the current fiscal problems in Alaska disappear and actually help Alaskans. No matter what political ‘party’ they run as, the message is the same. Enough said. Senator Sullivan is doing an outstanding job for Alaska. Lets keep him where he is and support him. Einstein had a great quote: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them”.

    • a) It’s not a question of semantics. That’s just a fancy sounding dodge. The ad was called cutting and pasting by the author. That’s just ridiculous since the ads are entirely different. That was my point.

      b) What is your proof Gross wants “out of control spending?” You’re just making that up. There is not a shred of evidence for that, “semantics” or not.

      • My “proof” that Gross wants out of control spending is his stated agenda. Medicare for everyone, $15 minimum wage, fighting “hydrocarbons and climate change” (cap and trade), pro-abortion (taxpayer funded, I’m sure). Throw in “no Pebble mine” and you’ve got a liberal/dim agenda. Deny it if you will. It’s plain as day. Nothing there good for Alaskans. That’s only his “stated agenda”. I’m sure there’s a “hidden agenda”, only if he lets that out, his goose is surely cooked. That would come after elected, if he accomplished that.

    • Ben,
      Maybe you should dig a little deeper before drawing your biased conclusions about individuals and their beliefs?
      The only thing Dr. Gross and Mr. Begich have in common is that they were both born and raised here in Alaska with fathers who were involved in politics (unlike Sullivan).
      When you start to say that Dr. Gross thinks “..more out of control spending will make the current fiscal problems in Alaska disappear…” You should research why he actually left his practice several years ago.
      The truth is:
      “The doctor who is leading Alaska health care reform said he quit his orthopedic clinic because he was no longer comfortable being part of a system so expensive it is crippling the economy.”
      And as for his claims to be willing to work across the aisle with Republicans, well that is probably true as well since his dad was AG under Jay Hammond (1974 to 1980) during a period when Republicans still hired smart Democrats and Independents to work alongside one another…and look what our young state accomplished during that period.

  • He is a practicing doctor. He’s been a registered non-partisan most of his adult life. And, yes, the U.S. Senate could use a doctor with public policy experience to help fix healthcare. They didn’t have that when they wrote the ACA in 2009-2010.

    • Mark,
      Funny, Gross is described as a “non-practicing” doctor. Is there a typo or misprint somewhere that I missed? No matter the “partisanship”, the message is the message. An apolitical “doctor” would, indeed, be a welcome voice on behalf of Alaska. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Gross. His message, via you, seems to be, “dig the hole deeper”, not fix the problem. Very simple. Alaska has already been fiscally eviscerated by liberal ideas, agendas and actions. NO to Gross. Yes for Sullivan!

      • “Non-practicing” was what the author of this article wrote. It’s not accurate. He practices part-time in Petersburg.

    • “he left his practice to study healthcare solutions” Watch the bear killer’s video.

  • Guess we’ll all have to read his healthcare fix to find out what’s in it, but since he is just another avowed leftist I know it will use my money to give other people free stuff.
    Keep on truckin’ Senator Dan!

  • I’m curious to hear what he found out about broken healthcare after leaving his practice. Anyone who advocates “Medicare for all” is advocating waste fraud and abuse for all. That is what the Govt. produces. On the flip side I’d be curious to hear about the waste, fraud, and abuse LTC. Dan saw in Afghanistan.

    • He left his group practice to study health care policy. But still practices part time in Petersburg. And he’s against Medicare for all. Nowhere is he advocating for more government spending. And how is a an avowed leftist? He’s decrying 97% party line voting by Sullivan. That doesn’t make him a leftist. That makes him an independent.

  • The US Senate could use a lot of things, but it is, and will always be, a seniority-based club.
    ACA was only intended to be another way for Democrats to further control the economy – by the passing of more laws, that will result in the hiring of more Democrats, who will vote for Democrats, who will hire more Democrats. The desired outcomes of people like you, since you only work for Democrats, is to not provide solutions to healthcare, education, global warming etc., but to increase spending – to hire more Democrats, who will elect more Democrats, who will hire more Democrats, who will hire people like you. It’s a gray market mob. Alyse Gross and Al Galvin are conduits for your shakedown.

  • Sounds like a very intelligent man,
    I wish Dr. Gross the best in his campaign for senator.
    Alaska needs more compassionate leaders as we move forward together!

  • Al Gross was my neighbor for a few years. Good moose hunter and fisherman. Excellent father, loves his family and wife. A great human being. Born and raised in Alaska.

    Love the wing-nut trolls that frequent this page, who are always uninformed, truly clueless, and spew what they hear on TV. Fix the problem, you are the problem.

    The current Senator seems to support the “grab’em by the ****^ ” party. Let’s list all the accomplishments over the last 3 years…….

  • Why would i want to buy into a program that is rife with fraud, waste, and abuse? And why would i want my healthcare administered by an entity that is 30 trillion dollars in debt? And how is abortion “reproductive healthcare “.

    • If you don’t want to buy in, then you wouldn’t have to. Read what Dr. Gross is proposing. It’s a public option. Option means optional. He’s against Medicare for all. And reproductive healthcare is a lot more than access to an abortion. Ask the tens of millions of women who seek access to contraception, gynecological care and pre-natal care. Never hurts to check the facts.

      • Why would The Good Doctor want to expand a program rife with waste, fraud, and abuse? Is that in the public’s best interest? You just acknowledged that you believe abortion falls under “reproductive healthcare”. THAT IS A FACT. Maybe you ought to call it something else. I have read his website and you are the one doing a dance. One can only wonder why.

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