Al Gross forming exploratory committee for U.S. Senate - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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Al Gross forming exploratory committee for U.S. Senate

Al Gross, a practicing orthopedic surgeon from Juneau who lives in Anchorage and Petersburg, says he’s formed an exploratory committee to help him decide if he’s going to challenge U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan in 2020. He is expected to announce the committee today in Petersburg, but has the announcement on his website, also launched today.

Gross is 57 and has been talking openly about a Senate bid for over a year, and writing op-eds about the need for more government intervention in medicine in Alaska.

While he lives in Anchorage, he is registered as a nonpartisan voter in Petersburg, where he fishes in the summer, and would be the second no-party challenger to Sullivan. Dave Matheny of Fairbanks filed with the Federal Elections Commission last week as an “independent.” (Alaska does not have such a designation on the ballot, but Matheny is registered as an “undeclared” voter).

Gross was raised in Juneau, the son of the late former Attorney General Av Gross, and Shari Gross Teeple, who was the Alaska lobbyist for the Port of Tacoma for 25 years.

Gross was an orthopedic surgeon in Juneau, but left his practice in 2013 to earn a masters degree in public health, and to champion what some might call socialized medicine for all Alaskans. He led  two ballot initiatives — one to enshrine Medicaid expansion, as provided by Gov. Bill Walker’s executive order, and the other to start setting prices for medical services in order to regulate insurance companies.

Neither made it to the ballot.

Gross has been the medical director of surgery for the Petersburg Medical Center since 1994. With his announcement, he is launching a listening tour throughout the state this summer.

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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

  • Another socialist trying to worm his way into Alaskan politics? Why not “run” against murkowski? She’s the one that need replaced by a conservative Alaskan, not Sullivan. Murkowski should declare herself as a genuine leftist/dim, not a Republican. She votes against conservative issues time after time and feeds Alaskans a line of BS as to why she does. She is all for continuing obamacare for Alaska and most other lib/dim policies that are not/would not be good for Alaska. She needs to go, not Sullivan.

    • My thoughts, exactly.

  • I guess name recognition for something else is the objective? Run again in 2022 as a candidate less liberal than incumbent.

  • Just what we need, a US Senator who thinks we need more government intervention in medicine in Alaska. Pass.

    • Agreed. Oh goody.

  • For a moment, just a single moment, I thought “Hoo Ray” somebody to challenge “Loosey Lisa”!!! Naught!
    No support for this fellow, I can read the tea leaves.

  • Alan Gross uses his own experience as surgeon to initiate conversations about the unnecessarily high cost of health care in Alaska, which impedes our economic growth in much the same way high energy costs do. Especially in rural environments. From what I’ve heard, he blames these relatively high costs on the prices surgeons — and doctors in general — charge for their services. It’s interestingly very similar to the argument Trump makes about tax loopholes — he’ll take advantage of them while they’re available, like all other business people do, but he thinks they’re ill conceived. So here is my question: why is Gross a silly liberal for taking this stance but Trump isn’t? This is a legit question. I’m not being rhetorical.

  • Keep listening.

  • Thanks, but no thanks. How about Republicrat Lissa instead?

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