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3204 S. Tongass Hwy. Ketchikan, AK 99901, USA

Letter to the Editor

Julie Decker, published in Wrangell Sentinel, October 18, 2018

Two years ago, I did not vote for Dan Ortiz who was running for State House of Representatives. However, he got elected to his second term and, over the past two years, I worked closely with him in the Legislature. This is what I learned about Dan. 


First, Representative Ortiz sponsored two mariculture bills, despite the fact that I was a part of the team working on them and I had not supported him. Representative Ortiz did not hold a grudge against me or play political games with issues that are important to Southeast Alaska. 


Second, Representative Ortiz worked harder than most Legislators in the State Capitol. He was the prime sponsor of eleven different bills on behalf of issues important to his constituents and succeeded in passing five of these bills. As a reference, it is common for Legislators to sponsor only four to six bills. Each bill takes time for the Legislator and staff to track and support it through the process. Representative Ortiz also served on the House Finance Committee, which is a very important and time-consuming Committee because it touches all budgetary issues. And when constituents called him with their problems related to state government, he always responded quickly and worked hard to resolve their problems.


Third, when faced with adversity or unfair political games being played by other Legislators, Representative Ortiz stood his ground, did not get nasty, and made his case for his positions. I saw this first-hand, and Representative Ortiz's response really impressed me, because it is unfortunately outside the norm of the State Capitol. This demeanor helped him develop positive relationships with other Legislators, independent of their political affiliation, which helped him get things accomplished.


My experiences with Representative Ortiz over the past two years have demonstrated that Dan is fair, hard-working, and capable. As a consequence, he has been able to get things accomplished that are important to our region. On November 6th, I'll be voting for Dan Ortiz, because actions speak louder than words.