Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska won re-election over his opponent Al Gross, an Independent who was supported by the Democratic Party.

With 81 percent reporting, Sullivan received 56.6 percent of the vote, while Gross got 38.5 percent.

Besides being a politician, Gross, 58, is an orthopedic surgeon and commercial fisherman born in Juneau. In August, he defeated three other candidates in the primary to face Sullivan.

Gross is the son of former Alaska Attorney General Avrum Gross and Shari Gross, the first executive director of the United Fishermen of Alaska and founder of the League of Women Voters-Alaska. As a child, he was part of the small Jewish community in Alaska and celebrated his bar mitzvah there.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Official Portrait 2015.

A 1985 graduate of Amherst College in Massachusetts with a degree in neuroscience, Gross studied medicine at the University of Washington, graduating in 1989.

Knowing the medical field firsthand, Gross supported initiatives to lower health-care costs; his campaign endorsed a public health-care option for individuals and small businesses.

He also said he would be a “staunch defender” of Israel and its security.

Gross raised more than $9 million this fall and was endorsed by the Jewish Democratic Council of America and the political action committees of Democratic Majority for Israel and J Street, DMFI PAC and JStreetPAC, respectively.

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