Independent orthopedic surgeon Al Gross has, suddenly and with little explanation, announced plans to end his campaign for Alaska’s U.S. House seat.
“Trust that I am making the right decision,” Gross said in a statement to supporters Tuesday, the day after disclosing his plans.
He added that he and his wife “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.”
BREAKING: A source familiar with the @DrAlGrossAK campaign reports Gross plans on withdrawing from the special general and regular primary elections. The withdrawal deadlines are June 26 and June 25, respectively If he withdraws, Tara Sweeney will get bumped up. #akleg
— The Alaska Landmine (@alaskalandmine) June 20, 2022
Independent orthopedic surgeon Al Gross drops out of the Alaska special House race https://t.co/ybeTxfirWU
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 21, 2022
Gross was in 3rd place in the special primary, behind former Gov. Sarah Palin and businessman Nick Begich, both Republicans.
His departure will seemingly increase the odds of Palin to win the special election.
The top-four vote-getters advance to the August special election.
Yahoo News explained:
State elections officials planned a final ballot count Tuesday in a race that featured a whopping 48 candidates. Officials have targeted certification of the special primary by Saturday.
This was the first election under a system approved by voters that scraps party primaries and institutes ranked choice voting in general elections. All 48 candidates in the special primary appeared on the same, one-page ballot.
Gross had given no public indication that a shakeup was coming.
On social media Friday, Gross said he was “thrilled” to earn the endorsement of an electrical workers union.
“Working men and women can trust that they can always count on me to fight for them and stand up to powerful corporate and special interests on their behalf,” he said in a fundraising appeal that also featured the words “Stop Sarah Palin!”
“Chip in today to help us bring independent leadership to Alaska,” the post says.
On Monday, his campaign posted a photo of him at a brewery over the weekend.
Then later in the day his campaign released a statement saying he would withdraw from the special and regular elections for the seat left vacant by the death in March of Republican Rep. Don Young. Young had held the seat for 49 years.
The August special election will feature ranked choice voting and determine who will serve the remainder of Young’s term.
The August regular primary and November general election will determine who will serve a new two-year term starting in January.