The progressive Jewish magazine, Forward, has a piece that profiles eight Jewish candidates running for Congress. Four of the candidates profiled are Democrats, including U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff (D. GA) and Matt Lieberman (D. GA). The other Democrats mentioned are Sara Jacobs (D. CA-53) and Kathy Manning (D. NC-06). Three of the candidates profiled are Republicans running for Congress in Georgia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But the top candidate on their list was Dr. Al Gross (I. AK) who has been endorsed by the DSCC:
Dr. Al Gross, independent from Alaska
Gross, an orthopedic surgeon and a commercial fisherman, may have the most unique resume out of any Jewish candidate running for office. But so far the focus of his campaign has been just how Alaskan he is: One ad claimed that he was “born in the wake of an avalanche” and once killed a grizzly bear in self-defense. He comes with a good local political family lineage: His father, Avrum Gross, was the state attorney general when Alaska implemented its famous oil dividend payment system.
Although he’s running as an independent, Al Gross is endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (no Democrat is running in the race). It’ll be an uphill battle against incumbent Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan – the Cook Political Report, one of the country’s most respected political prognostication publications, labels the state “Solid Republican.” But Gross will have a lot of financial muscle in a state where that could go a long way. He announced this week that he raised more than $1 million in the past three months and has $2 million in the bank.
Gross really does have an amazing story and he has been bringing in impressive fundraising numbers. He’s also been mercilessly been attacking his opponent, U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R. AK), for doing not using his power to doing anything effective about this pandemic:
The United States still lacks a coordinated and robust plan for Covid-19 testing and tracing. Why has @SenDanSullivan not raised his voice against this deadly failure?— Dr. Al Gross (@DrAlGrossAK) April 18, 2020
He’s been incredibly effective in reaching out to Alaska voters during this pandemic:
Thanks for helping to spread the word. Over 19k Alaskans joined the call yesterday. We’ll do another call 5 pm on this coming Sunday because over 1000 questions weren’t answered! #AlwaysAlaska https://t.co/aFxpS0xDJM— Dr. Al Gross (@DrAlGrossAK) March 23, 2020
And he’s using his personal story to unseat Sullivan and rile up voters. Here’s an e-mail I received from Dr. Gross’ campaign on Friday:
I’m a commercial fisherman, a doctor, and a lifelong Alaskan.
Folks here in Alaska are tired of politics as usual. They are sick of politicians who serve Washington, the political insiders, and special interests.
And now we’re facing a global pandemic.
It doesn’t take a doctor or an expert to understand that Donald Trump and his allies, like Senator Dan Sullivan, are simply not capable of properly handling it.
It’s more evident than ever that our health care system is broken. It’s time for change. It’s time for action. Are you with me?
Watch this video to learn more about my Alaskan story, then chip in $3 or more to become a member of this grassroots, people-powered movement to defeat Dan Sullivan and ditch Mitch McConnell once and for all.
As a doctor, I’ve seen firsthand the struggles Alaskans face in accessing medical care. It’s the reason why I went back to school to get a master’s degree in public health and why I decided to run for the U.S. Senate.
As a commercial fisherman, I know that nothing on a boat will work if I don’t listen to my crew, give them my respect, and put my faith in them.
So I know how to work together with folks to fix problems and make people’s lives better.
And I’ve taken on some tough challenges. I took out a loan to buy a fishing boat at age 14. I provided medical care to patients in the middle of the wilderness. Prospected for gold. Sailed through ocean gales. I’ve even faced off with a grizzly bear.
So I’m ready to take on Dan Sullivan, Mitch McConnell, and all the special interest cash they’ve got stashed away to try to stop a different kind of candidate like me from changing things.
But I can’t do it alone. I need you to join me on this journey to a future where we all share in our country’s prosperity. Will you get on board with me today? Watch the video to learn more, then chip in $3 or more to join our campaign.
Dr. Al Gross