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Richard H. Smith, published on Ketchikan Daily News, October 26, 2022

After watching the Ted Ferry Civic Center candidate debate event virtually, I am compelled to again express my support for Rep. Dan Ortiz. Watching my community in Ketchikan, indeed Alaska, realign solely along party lines is discouraging.

Alaska voters, especially in Ketchikan, have a strong history of voting for the person we believe can do the best job representing us. Ketchikan has been a tolerant and inclusive community. Party affiliations are not always important, and, in this fall race for representative, it is less important than ever.

We need to elect the man who has a proven track record and has made his life in Ketchikan. Relative newcomers have high ideals, fueled in part by youth, but especially by ignorance of how politics function in the legislative sense and how work is accomplished in Juneau for our state. We don’t always agree, but that is part of the process.

It is not easy being in the Legislature. One can harken high ideals and rest on military laurels, but that is not how any elected body works. Any newcomer has many years of frustrating learnings before she/he can become effective. Dan Ortiz has proven himself; he has the knowledge and intelligence to work across the aisle. Dan listens, votes thoughtfully, and is well-respected by his elected peers and constituents.


Let’s vote Dan Ortiz to another term for Ketchikan and for Alaska. We cannot afford a newcomer.

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