Hi, I’m Otto Florschutz.

I’m a commercial fisherman, pro-life father of 4, and advocate for working families.

During my 42 years of continuous residency in Alaska I have:

Commercially fished for 41 years.

Worked 16 years at Alaska Airlines.

Owned, maintained and successfully operated 2 commercial fishing boats for multiple fisheries.

Served as an elected Wrangell Port Commissioner 3 times.

As a commissioner and along with 4 others we built Heritage harbor and also planned, implemented and pushed for completion of Wrangell Marine Service Center despite constant opposition.

25 plus years elected member of Wrangell Fish and Game Advisory Committee.

Fought for fair treatment of Glacier Bay Commercial fishermen and the servicing communities by the US Park Service and Federal government.

Purchased land in Wrangell, and built my home here to raise a family of 4 kids.

I have both family values and conservative values. I know there are many powerhouse people running for this seat. But no fisherman passes up a job just because it might be hard or get a little stormy.

If I wasn’t the first boat out of the harbor in the morning I would set my alarm 10 minutes earlier that night. If elected, I will work with the same devotion to represent the people of Alaska.

My Letter to Voters

Hi, I’m Otto Florschutz, some of you might know me as Ottie — a nickname I have long held. I have lived in Wrangell for over 35 years moving here from Sitka where I originally settled. Fisherman develop many skills mostly in the sink or swim fashion. We become politicians at Board of Fish meetings, engineers , mechanics, welders or shipwrights when fixing our boats. We become businessmen when developing markets and of course there is the fish hunting itself. Many fishermen also serve in local positions in our community school board, councils and ports and other appointed or elected positions. Like many of these I have served 25 plus years as a elected member of the Wrangell Fish and Game Advisory Committee and have attended many Board of Fish meetings working to preserve fishing rights especially for communities off the main transportation corridors. I have been elected 3 times to the Wrangell Port Commission where I was instrumental in the development and building of the Wrangell Marine Service Center with 150 and 300 ton boat lifts operated by the Port of Wrangell where many small businesses contract to do boat repair. Wrangell has a rich historic tradition in marine repair and this yard along with the many skilled boatwrights, fabricators, machinists, welders and painters have made this a vital addition to our community and economy.

Initially I fished as a full share man for black cod & halibut on a schooner, subsequently I bought my own boat in 1984 and fished in Glacier Bay. In the 1990s the Park Service became obsessed with closing fishing in the Bay. National conservation groups touted the adverse effects of fishing and proposed rule making to eliminate fishing. In the end the final philosophy towards fishermen was go fish somewhere else. At length, I walked into the then Park superintendent Jim Brady’s office and sat down for a one on one talk. My goal was to get him to understand that when fisheries are fully utilized, displacing fishers and forcing them to go elsewhere as they proposed impacts all fishermen by slicing the pie thinner for fishermen who make their living in those areas. Less for all. The only fair way to close fishing was for the Park Service to buy out and retire fishing permits. While seemingly simple, this idea had much resistance from national groups who did not like the precedent to be set where those whose jobs they seek to close down would get settlements. After attending years of meetings, workshops and discussions between user groups and state and national representatives a consensus was formed and law was drafted in which a fair and equitable solution was made closing areas of the bay, leaving some open to current participants and buying and retiring permits. I feel I have learned how to fight for fairness and find a workable solution with regional and national organizations.

I continued to fish multiple fisheries while also working for Alaska Airlines both part time and occasionally full time, performing many duties. While I was in fact way too busy, I had a great manager who liked what I brought to the station and while I don’t know how, we made it work through 911 and its aftermath. They are a great company to work for. I worked primarily for the benefits. Insurance is a big cost to any family but as a fisherman who overnights on the water our policy was very costly.

As you can see I have never held a state or national elected office but such is not beyond my ability. I am a father of 4 who along with my wife worked to raise good children. We try to live a subsistence lifestyle with a garden and 3 greenhouses but also hunting and fishing. We also freely share among friends and neighbors knowing that when the Lord blesses me with I should pass those blessings on. Its important to me to live within my means so I am not going to compete to see who can put up the most yard signs, biggest newspaper ad or tv spot. Those things are way too expensive. All I am asking is if you like my conservative values and think I can represent you in Congress either send this by email or print this off and mail it to 10 or as many Alaskan friends and know I will work to represent the best interests of Alaska and the nation.

Warnings

  • Voting in person is offered only at the five regional offices of the Div. of Elections in Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Wasilla and Nome.
  • All other voters will need to vote by mail only.
  • Ballots will be sent to the address on your voter registration.
  • All ballots must be signed but must also have a witness signature.
  • For the primary you vote for 1. For the final election you will have 4 choices so you will rank those choices.

Otto Florschutz for Congress

907-874-2522

vote@ottoforalaska.com

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