I have known Cathy Muñoz's family for more than 50 years, and Cathy all her life. In the 1950s and '60s, I ran a fish-buying station in Angoon for her grandfather. In the '80s, I ran fish packers for the family business in Yakutat and Bristol Bay. I worked with the family for 32 years. Cathy's grandfather, Elton Engstrom, was a fish buyer. As many old timers will tell you, he was the closest friend the fisherman ever had.
Cathy Muñoz grew up in the fish business. I remember back in the late '70s, I would bring in a load of fish from the Nushagak River in Bristol Bay to Dillingham, and the cold storage would come to life. Cathy worked on the processing line with her mother, father and brothers, right alongside the rest of the cold storage workers. The whole family worked together late into the evening until the job was done. On some days, we would bring in upward of 100,000 pounds. And they would work together all summer long. Those were good days in Bristol Bay. Some people may wonder where Cathy's work ethic comes from, but I know. And it is this work ethic that Cathy will bring to the job of senator.
Cathy will be a very strong voice for the fishermen throughout Southeast. She has seen and felt first-hand the changes that have taken place in the industry over the last 30 years and she will bring new ideas to the table.
While on the Assembly, Cathy supported the commercial load facility at Auke Bay, and she wants to work with the cruise industry to directly market Alaska salmon from the dock to the liner. Cathy understands the fisherman, his tight-knit, hard-working family, and she understands business.
Juneau's fishing families will have no stronger voice in the state Senate than that of Cathy Muñoz.