October 21, 2022

Press Release: Gara-Cook Campaign Nets Key Bristol Bay Tribal Endorsement

United Tribes of Bristol Bay Asks Voters to Rank Gara-Cook First on Ranked-Choice Ballots

Anchorage – On October 20, the United Tribes of Bristol Bay endorsed Les Gara to be the next Governor of the State of Alaska based on his unwavering commitment to protecting Bristol Bay’s one-of-a-kind wild salmon run. The United Tribes of Bristol Bay represents 15 tribal governments in the Bristol Bay region.

“Quyana to the United Tribes of Bristol Bay for the years of work to protect the people of Bristol Bay, and our world’s-greatest fish runs. My promise to you is that as governor I will never allow the headwaters of the greatest salmon-producing rivers on earth to be mined without a fight. I will use every power of the state to protect Bristol Bay, forever,” said gubernatorial candidate and avid fisherman Les Gara.

Thursday’s endorsement of Les Gara and Jessica Cook was part of a larger endorsement of a “Salmon Slate” of candidates for the upcoming November 8 general election. The one thing all the candidates have in common is a commitment to work to stop mines like the proposed Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay region. Thursday’s endorsement asks voters to rank Gara-Cook first and Walker-Drygass second on their ranked-choice ballots for Alaska Governor.

“Turning out to vote for the Salmon Slate is the most important way people can take action to help protect Bristol Bay’s prolific salmon fisheries and our Indigenous ways of life. The Salmon Slate endorsements highlight the candidates who will work to stop mines like Pebble in our region and to secure permanent protections for generations to come,” said UTBB Executive Director Alannah Hurley.

Any large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay region threatens the iconic Bristol Bay salmon fishery, which is the most sustainable salmon fishery on earth. The fishery generates over 15,000 jobs a year and supplies up to 57 percent of the world’s sockeye salmon. This year’s sockeye salmon run to Bristol Bay was the largest on record and generated a preliminary ex-vessel value of $351.7 million.

“Les and I are proud to stand with the United Tribes of Bristol Bay to protect our fish for this and future generations,” said Lieutenant Governor candidate Jessica Cook.

Election day is November 8. Early and absentee in-person voting starts on Monday, October 24 at locations across the state. The deadline to request an absentee by-mail ballot is October 29.
For more information, please contact Communication Director Amber Lee at (907) 350-0486.