U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, speaks during an interview with the Juneau Empire at the Capitol in February 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, speaks during an interview with the Juneau Empire at the Capitol in February 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: Sullivan is a leader and getting my vote

“Senator Sullivan has an outstanding record of military and national security service.”

  • Tuesday, October 13, 2020 10:20pm
  • Opinion

By Merrill Sanford

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 myself, 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 bipartisan 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.

Senator 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 Senator 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 ue in the future.

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

Semper Fi.

• Merrill A. Sanford is a resident of Juneau and previously served as mayor. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a letter to the editor or My Turn .

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