Race to replace: Gross explains why he quit, and Palin says she hopes Gross voters will give her a look


Former congressional candidate Al Gross issued a statement to his supporters on Tuesday morning, with an explanation as to why he has quit the race to replace the late Congressman Don Young: “It’s too hard to run as a nonpartisan.”

“I am a lifelong Alaskan with a passion for this state and its people. I know that polarizing partisanship is not how solutions are achieved. It takes leadership and work. Unfortunately, Alaska and America are stuck right now, and Monica and I have decided it is just too hard to run as a nonpartisan candidate in this race. I still believe that when people with differing opinions listen to each other and work together, problems get solved. Maybe we can reach that place sometime in the future. I hope we do,” Gross wrote.

Gross talked in generalities about what is needed in the U.S. Capitol: fixing inflation, ending partisan gridlock, and engaging in less grandstanding. He outlined points important to him, including bringing government spending under control and expanding Alaska’s role in defense. But wants to expand free health care to all, preserve abortion rights of Roe v. Wade, and legalize pot.

Gross appeared to be campaigning hard and was in third place behind Sarah Palin and Nick Begich right up until the moment he pulled the plug on Monday afternoon, when his campaign first leaked news to a left-leaning blogger that he was pulling out of the race.

By evening, he had posted a short and carefully worded statement of withdrawal from the race for Congress. He gave no explanation.

Gross had earlier agreed to caucus with the Democrats in Congress, but that was not enough for the Alaska Democratic Party, which took to social media to call him a “proven loser,” who could not even win a seat on his local Petersburg hospital board and who had lost to Sen. Dan Sullivan in 2020.

By the time he filed his mid-May campaign finance report with the Federal Elections Commission, he had raised over half a million dollars in funds, much of it from social media, where he said he was taking on the “quitter” Sarah Palin.

Palin issued a statement in response to the news encouraging all of his supporters to take a look at her candidacy”

“Nothing should surprise voters in this unconventional election. In many aspects, new voting systems are confusing at best, and not conducive to growing voter turnout. However, let’s not let that dampen enthusiasm to get government on the right track. 

“Al Gross was the top democrat vote-getter. His quitting the race leads to much speculation as to motive, but I’ll leave the speculating to others. My mission is to continue connecting with all Alaskans on the issues most important to our families and businesses, along with strengthening relationships our State needs in order to get nationwide Congressional support for Alaska’s interests. 

“I welcome the new addition to the top four, and am excited to continue campaigning on resource development, lower fuel costs, affordable groceries, ensuring individual rights… all to create a brighter future for all Alaskans. 

“Now that Al Gross supporters lost their candidate, I hope they will take a look at where I stand on the issues, and how I will never stop fighting for the greatest state in the Union,” she said.

Must Read Alaska has a query on file with the Division of Elections to learn what the process is for deciding if Sweeney can slide into the fourth slot on the special election ballot.

Meanwhile, the group promoting Tara Sweeney for Congress was on Monday afternoon busy asking the Division of Elections to put Sweeney on the fourth spot on the ballot.


  1. Let’s make sure the rule of law is followed, and not some bastardization of the system such as in the 2014 Governor’s race. Alaskans won’t stand for any more election shenanigans. It looks to
    Me like she missed the deadline of 65 days prior to the general election…

  2. It’s not the voters who are confused. It’s the bastards who rigged Alaska’s new voting system who are confused. 🤣

  3. Filing for office, raising money, campaigning and winning nomination has become gamesmanship. The gamesmanship degrades the public’s confidence in democracy. These tactics are an abuse of our honorable traditions. The Bear doctor’s antics are the latest example. Those that engage in this gamesmanship should pay a price.

    I will be researching potential changes to the law that would impose significant consequences for this corrosive conduct. I am interested in any ideas others may have. These changes could be the basis for an initiative to amend the law.

  4. smart ma’am, all doctors supporters you bet welcome aboard please come all and see Sara has many accomplishments already for Alaskans. Sara help my mom and the elderly as governor please support Sara as she has us.

  5. Go ahead and elect this fraud. Do it.
    She’s openly courting the hard left voters and the cult of Sarah voters still don’t care.

    She has already done the bidding of the Walker machine once. Now she’s doing it again and so many of you STILL say she’s a conservative.

    Hell, I’d rather Chris Constant than Sarah. At least he’s honest about who and what he is.

    Palinheads are just like Dunleavy zombies: the reason the left wins and we can’t have nice things.

  6. Don’t give us this disingenuous “nonpartisan” bullshale, Gross Al — everyone knows you are a dyed-in-the-wool radical leftist and a Democrat.

  7. I’m not sure his statement explains why he quit, it’s a lot of words about quitting but not an explanation for why. He ran as an “Independent” “nonpartisan” but then claims he can’t run as an “Independent” “nonpartisan” when he’s the only “Independent” “nonpartisan” and leading the partisan Democrat by thousands of votes. Weird Al will have a hard time explaining why he quit while campaigning against a quitter.

      • Bill,
        It’s cute that you think Weird Al is done campaigning. His website is still accepting donations, if he is no longer campaigning why would he still be accepting donations? Read what he wrote, he is ending his “campaign to become Alaska’s next Congressman”, “This race has been…”, “in this race”, “I hope that your next Congressman or Congresswoman” Has he withdrawn from the actual election yet, or just the special election? Weird Al isn’t done campaigning.

  8. Al Gross did not quit on his own, he quit because he was commanded to quit. He is a dyed in the wool Democrat and quit for the greater good. He’ll be compensated in one way or another. Expect to see him again, probably as a commissioner or some other high paying gig he won’t even need to show up for.

  9. Dark money, lies, greed and self absorption.
    What has happened to good old fashioned integrity and campaigns on a shoe string? Who can run for office in this dung heap? I’m disgusted!

  10. The Dems wanted Peltola and all the money that will flow into Democratic coffers with her from the Native corporations. Tough luck for Al. This is the new reality.

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