Merrill Sanford: Senator Sullivan is a leader and is getting my vote



After growing up in Juneau and having the honor of serving as mayor, I’ve had an opportunity to work with many elected officials and community leaders. 

As a former Marine, I know leadership when I see it. And when someone isn’t a leader, it’s obvious.  

The current campaign for Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat is a good example.  

Dan Sullivan won this seat six years ago when he beat the, incumbent Mark Begich. He is now running for reelection. 

During his first term in office, he was responsible for getting bi-partisan legislation passed that is important to Alaskans.  

His opponent, Alan Gross, has never run for office and has no record of leadership or service in our local community. According to Gross, he earned as much as $2.5 million a year as an orthopedic surgeon in Juneau but, seven years after he quit his practice, he says he wants to reform the system that allowed him to do that.

Gross is heavily funded by Outside groups that want to elect candidates who are in favor of socializing our health care and ramming through the Green New Deal. He has aired endless false attack adds against Senator Sullivan.  

Alan Gross’s negative campaign reflects poorly on him and sounds desperate.  

Sen. Sullivan has an outstanding record of military and national security service. He is currently an infantry officer and colonel in the United States Marine Corp Reserves. Over the past 25 years, Colonel Sullivan has served in many command and staff positions on active duty and in the reserves.  He is the only member of the U. S. Senate still serving in the military.  

Sullivan has taken the lead on rebuilding our county’s military, promoting responsible resource development in Alaska, opening up markets for Alaskan fishermen, cleaning up our oceans, expanding benefits for our veterans, and taking action to protect survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.  

It was Sen. Sullivan’s leadership that lead to the passage of two bills he sponsored that addressed two issues that should concern all Alaskans – the Power Act, which provides legal help for survivors of sexual assault, as well as the Save Our Seas Act, which addresses our oceans debris and plastics crisis.   

Alan Gross says we need to send a doctor to Washington to fix what he thinks are our country’s failures.  

No we don’t.  What we need is someone who has fought for all Alaska and will continue to fight for us in the future.  

What we need is a Marine. What we need is to continue the leadership of Sen. Dan Sullivan.

Semper Fi!

Merrill Sanford is the former mayor of Juneau.


  1. Those two bills he sponsored were “feel good” bills, of which merely enlarged the breadth of an ineffective health and social services, and made a lot of noise about ocean plastic waste which Alaska should leave to the feds to resolve.
    He stands hand in hand with Murkowski, who is badmouthing Pebble at an Alaska Federation of Natives meeting. The AFN is somewhat influential, but doesn’t represent anywhere near a majority of Alaska’s Natives interests.
    The hand-full of activists a while back that turned their backs on the governor, was just that, a hand-full. AFN leadership failed to censor that ill mannered demonstration and lost a lot of it’s membership.
    The Alaska Native vote put her over the top once, but it has eroded and she is trying to get it back.
    I think that she picked the wrong forum, at the wrong time, at the wrong place.
    The two of them agreeing on the Pebble hot button issue tells me that they are putting reelection ahead of Alaska’s interests.
    It’s ok to be against Pebble, but not ok to try and undermine the legal processes they don’t agree with.
    Sullivan and Murkowski may be skilled at politics, but they’re fighting against Alaska’s need to develop a sustainable industrial base. A base which will depend on mineral and energy extraction.
    Many countries are beginning to demand the extraction industries build value added processing of their resources.

  2. Six years in the Senate and all you come up with for Sullivan are a lame bill for individuals AFTER they’ve been sexually assaulted and another one that could have been introduced by any one of 50 other Senators.
    I applaud the Save Our Seas Act, but Sullivan has been a paragon of a do-nothing Senator, tagging along on bills that help Trump’s dirty works programs, introduced by others, and taking credit for them simply because he is a co-sponsor. Or not. If this is the best he can do, we are in deep do-do. At the least, it looks like Gross will stir up some action that might actually help the state.

  3. Greg R,
    If in fact you are correct in your assessment of Dan Sullivan, ( which you are not) please know that I would gladly take a do- nothing over a Lenin wannabe who will create much harm and suffering. Theoretical and ideological men have caused the greatest suffering throughout human history. His support of the “Green Deal: is evidence of what harm he could inflict. Gross isn’t even supported by UFA. After 10 million in advertising reminding us that he , macho man Allen owns a choker, er, gillnetter. Gross needs to go get adulation in another arena. Perhaps there he can boast of his “cojones”.

  4. Wow. Listen to the commentators on this article. Criticizing the senator for his lack of, or frivolous nature of, “bills” he got passed. The fact is, every clear-thinking, patriotic American should be lauding a politician for passing less, not more, bills. In fact, a proper-thinking politician would introduce a bill requiring that before any new bill can be passed, three pre-existing laws must be stricken from the books. That’s right, if anyone wants a new law they must include three to be removed.

  5. Listen to these commentators. They rate politicians higher for creating more laws. A proper patriot would want a new law requiring that for any future law to be created three pre-existing laws must be stricken from the books. That’s right, a 3 to 1 removal vs new rate. Make America Great Again is a wonderful sentiment.

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