Ortiz for Legislature

Mike Harpold, published in Ketchikan Daily News, October 25, 2018

I first met Dan Ortiz while serving on the Ketchikan School Board in the mid '90s. Like me, he was a parent, but also he taught government at Ketchikan High School. He spoke frequently during public comments; he was passionate about education, about his job educating students, his fellow teachers and the capabilities of Ketchikan schools. He was never an axe-grinder, nor did he plead a private interest, and I found myself listening to him and learning from him. 

Later, when I served on the Ketchikan City Council, Dan spoke to us often about issues affecting our community as a passionate and involved local citizen. He offered practical, common sense counsel to problems he felt were holding our community back. 

I've often reflected on the example that Dan set for his government students, now adults. Dan believes that we the people established government at the local, state and national level to build and sustain our communities, our states and our nation: government by the people and for the people. By his example, he encouraged a generation of his students to be part of it, too.  

How appropriate Dan's leadership is for today when some argue that government is the problem, and, as if to make it so, legislatures bog themselves down in hopeless partisan gridlock. To the contrary, bound only to his obligation to his constituents, Dan's record of accomplishments in the Alaska Legislature continues to grow. 

Dan has hosted countless coffee hours and public events. He endlessly canvasses his constituents for their concerns and their viewpoints, and then makes his decisions based on what he ultimately judges is best for us all. 

Lyndon Johnson called running for public office "getting the consent of the governed." Dan, a man of boundless energy, spends evenings and weekends going door to door in the communities of House District 36. It is likely he has been to yours, looked you straight in the eye, and with a firm handshake asked for your vote. 

Turn out and vote to return Dan Ortiz to the Legislature on Nov. 6. 

Mike Harpold