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The Governor of Alaska is the chief executive of the U.S. state of Alaska. The governor is the head of the executive branch of Alaska's state government and is charged with enforcing state laws.

Governor of Alaska
State Seal of Alaska.svg
Mike Dunleavy official photo.jpg
Incumbent
Mike Dunleavy

since December 3, 2018
ResidenceAlaska Governor's Mansion
Term lengthFour years, renewable once
Inaugural holderWilliam A. Egan
FormationJanuary 3, 1959
DeputyKevin Meyer
Salary$145,000 [1]
Websitegov.alaska.gov

Eleven people have served as governor of the State of Alaska over 13 distinct terms, though Alaska had over 30 civilian and military governors during its long history as a United States territory. Only two governors, William A. Egan and Bill Walker, were born in Alaska. Two people, Egan and Wally Hickel, have been elected to multiple non-consecutive terms as governor. Hickel is also noted for a rare third party win in American politics, having been elected to a term in 1990 representing the Alaskan Independence Party. The longest-serving governor of the state was Egan, who was elected three times and served nearly 12 years. The longest-serving territorial governor was Ernest Gruening, who served 13½ years.

The current governor is Republican Mike Dunleavy, who took office on December 3, 2018.

Governors before statehoodEdit

Alaska was purchased by the United States from the Russian Empire in 1867, with formal transfer occurring on October 18, 1867,[2] which is now celebrated as Alaska Day. Before then, it was known as Russian America or Russian Alaska, controlled by the governors and general managers of the Russian-American Company.

Commanders of the Department of AlaskaEdit

The vast region was initially designated the Department of Alaska, under the jurisdiction of the Department of War and administered by the U.S. Army officers until 1877, when the Army was withdrawn from Alaska. The Department of the Treasury then took control, with the Collector of Customs as the highest ranking federal official in the territory. In 1879, the U.S. Navy was given jurisdiction over the department.[3]

Some believe the first American administrator of Alaska was Polish immigrant Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski. However, the Anchorage Daily News was unable to find any conclusive information to support this claim.[4]

Chief federal officers of the Department of Alaska
No. Commander Position Term in office
1   Jefferson C. Davis Army Colonel October 18, 1867

August 31, 1870
2   George K. Brady Army Captain September 1, 1870

September 22, 1870
3   John C. Tidball Army Major September 23, 1870

September 19, 1871
4 Harvey A. Allen Army Major September 20, 1871

January 3, 1873
5   Joseph Stewart Army Major January 4, 1873

April 20, 1874
6 George B. Rodney Jr. Army Captain April 21, 1874

August 16, 1874
7 Joseph B. Campbell Army Captain August 17, 1874

June 14, 1876
8 John Mendenhall Army Major June 15, 1876

March 4, 1877
9 Arthur Morris Army Captain March 5, 1877

June 14, 1877
10 Montgomery P. Berry Collector of Customs June 14, 1877

August 13, 1877
11 Henry Charles DeAhna Collector of Customs August 14, 1877

March 26, 1878
12 M. D. Ball Collector of Customs March 27, 1878

June 13, 1879
13   Lester A. Beardslee Navy Captain June 14, 1879

September 12, 1880
14   Henry Glass Navy Commander September 13, 1880

August 9, 1881
15 Edward P. Lull Navy Commander August 10, 1881

October 18, 1881
16   Henry Glass Navy Commander October 19, 1881

March 12, 1882
17 Frederick Pearson Navy Commander March 13, 1882

October 3, 1882
18 Edgar C. Merriman Navy Commander October 4, 1882

September 13, 1883
19   Joseph Coghlan Navy Commander September 15, 1883

September 13, 1884
20 Henry E. Nichols Navy Lieutenant commander September 14, 1884

September 15, 1884

Governors of the District of AlaskaEdit

On May 17, 1884, the Department of Alaska was redesignated the District of Alaska, an incorporated but unorganized territory with a civil government. The governor was appointed by the president of the United States.

Governors of the District of Alaska
No. Governor Term in office Appointed by
1   John Henry Kinkead July 4, 1884

May 7, 1885
Chester A. Arthur
2   Alfred P. Swineford May 7, 1885

April 20, 1889
Grover Cleveland
3   Lyman Enos Knapp April 20, 1889

June 18, 1893
Benjamin Harrison
4   James Sheakley June 18, 1893

June 23, 1897
Grover Cleveland
5   John Green Brady June 23, 1897

March 2, 1906[a]
William McKinley
6   Wilford Bacon Hoggatt March 10, 1906[6]

May 20, 1909
Theodore Roosevelt
7   Walter Eli Clark May 20, 1909

August 24, 1912
William Howard Taft

Governors of the Territory of AlaskaEdit

The District of Alaska was organized into Alaska Territory on August 24, 1912. Governors continued to be appointed by the president of the United States.

Governors of the Territory of Alaska
No. Portrait Term in office Appointed by
1   Walter Eli Clark August 24, 1912

April 18, 1913
William Howard Taft
2   John Franklin Alexander Strong April 18, 1913

April 12, 1918[b]
Woodrow Wilson
3   Thomas Riggs Jr. April 12, 1918

June 16, 1921
4   Scott Cordelle Bone June 16, 1921

August 16, 1925
Warren G. Harding
5   George Alexander Parks August 16, 1925

April 19, 1933
Calvin Coolidge
6 John Weir Troy April 19, 1933

December 6, 1939
Franklin D. Roosevelt
7   Ernest Gruening[c] December 6, 1939

April 10, 1953
8 B. Frank Heintzleman April 10, 1953

January 3, 1957[d]
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  Waino Hendrickson January 3, 1957

April 8, 1957
Acting[e]
9   Mike Stepovich April 8, 1957

August 9, 1958[f]
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  Waino Hendrickson August 9, 1958

January 3, 1959
Acting[e]

Governors of the State of AlaskaEdit

Alaska was admitted to the Union on January 3, 1959.

The state constitution provides for the election of a governor and lieutenant governor every four years on the same ticket, with their terms commencing on the first Monday in the December following the election.[11] Governors are allowed to succeed themselves once, having to wait four years after their second term in a row before being allowed to run again.[12] Should the office of governor become vacant, the lieutenant governor assumes the office of governor.[13] The original constitution of 1956 created the office of secretary of state, which was functionally identical to a lieutenant governor, and was renamed to "lieutenant governor" in 1970.[14]

Governors of the State of Alaska[g]
No. Governor Term in office Party Election Lt. Governor[h][i]
1     William A. Egan January 3, 1959

December 5, 1966
(lost election)
Democratic 1958   Hugh Wade
1962
2   Wally Hickel December 5, 1966

January 29, 1969
(resigned)[j]
Republican 1966 Keith Harvey Miller
3   Keith Harvey Miller January 29, 1969

December 7, 1970
(lost election)[16]
Republican Succeeded from
Secretary
of State
Robert W. Ward
1   William A. Egan December 7, 1970

December 2, 1974
(lost election)
Democratic 1970 H. A. Boucher
4   Jay Hammond December 2, 1974

December 6, 1982
(term limited)
Republican 1974 Lowell Thomas Jr.
1978 Terry Miller
5   Bill Sheffield December 6, 1982

December 1, 1986
(lost election)[k]
Democratic 1982 Steve McAlpine
6   Steve Cowper December 1, 1986

December 3, 1990
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1986
2   Wally Hickel December 3, 1990

December 5, 1994
(not candidate for election)
Alaskan
Independence
[l]
1990 Jack Coghill
7   Tony Knowles December 5, 1994

December 2, 2002
(term limited)
Democratic 1994 Fran Ulmer
1998
8   Frank Murkowski December 2, 2002

December 4, 2006
(lost election)[m]
Republican 2002 Loren Leman
9   Sarah Palin December 4, 2006

July 26, 2009
(resigned)[n]
Republican 2006 Sean Parnell
10   Sean Parnell July 26, 2009

December 1, 2014
(lost election)[21]
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
Craig Campbell
(took office August 10, 2009)[o]
2010 Mead Treadwell
11   Bill Walker December 1, 2014

December 3, 2018
(withdrew from election)[p]
Independent 2014 Byron Mallott
(resigned October 16, 2018)[25]
Valerie Davidson
12   Mike Dunleavy December 3, 2018

present[q]
Republican 2018 Kevin Meyer

SuccessionEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Brady was forced to resign due to his involvement with the fraudulent Reynolds–Alaska Development Company.[5]
  2. ^ Strong resigned on request after it was discovered he was still a Canadian citizen.[7]
  3. ^ During most of World War II, Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., was the military commander of Alaska, and held much executive power over the territory.[8]
  4. ^ Heintzleman resigned; reportedly he was unhappy with the job, and did not expect to be reappointed.[9]
  5. ^ a b As secretary of Alaska, acted as governor for remainder of term.[10]
  6. ^ Stepovich resigned to run for the United States Senate, losing that election.[10]
  7. ^ Data is sourced from the National Governors Association, unless supplemental references are required.
  8. ^ The office of lieutenant governor was named secretary of state until 1970.[14]
  9. ^ Lieutenant governors have all represented the same party as their governor.
  10. ^ Hickel resigned to become United States Secretary of the Interior.[15]
  11. ^ Sheffield lost the Democratic nomination to Steve Cowper.[17]
  12. ^ Hickel was elected as a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, and switched to the Republican party in April 1994.[18]
  13. ^ Murkowski finished third in the Republican primary, behind winner Sarah Palin and John Binkley.[19]
  14. ^ Palin resigned, citing the costs of ethics investigations.[20]
  15. ^ Campbell's position was termed "Temporary Substitute Lieutenant Governor[22] until he was confirmed by the Alaska Legislature on August 10, 2009.[23]
  16. ^ Walker withdrew from the election on October 19, after the deadline of September 4 and so remained on the ballot.[24]
  17. ^ Dunleavy's first term expires on December 5, 2022.

ReferencesEdit

General
  • "Former Alaska Governors". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  • Gates, Nancy (2007). The Alaska Almanac: Facts about Alaska (30th ed.). Graphic Arts Center Publishing Co. pp. 85–87. ISBN 0-88240-652-3. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  • Sobel, Robert (1978). Biographical directory of the governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. I. Meckler Books. ISBN 9780930466015. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
Constitution
Specific
  1. ^ "The Governors: Compensation, Staff, Travel and Residence" (PDF). The Council of State Governments. April 3, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "Purchase of Alaska, 1867". United States Department of State Office of the Historian. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  3. ^ Gates p. 86
  4. ^ Ruskin, Liz (2002-12-20). "Barking up the wrong Pole: Hero wasn't governor". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
  5. ^ Janson, Lone (1975). The Copper Spike. Alaska Northwest Publishing Co. p. 44. ISBN 0-88240-045-2.
  6. ^ "New Governor of Alaska". New York Times. March 11, 1906. p. 5.
  7. ^ Gruening, Ernest (1973). Many Battles: The Autobiography of Ernest Gruening. Liveright. p. 216. ISBN 0-87140-565-2.
  8. ^ Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. University of Washington Press. 1997. p. 319. ISBN 0-295-97558-X.
  9. ^ Naske, Claus-M. (1985). A History of Alaska Statehood. University Press of America. p. 244. ISBN 0-8191-4556-4.
  10. ^ a b Naske, Claus-M.; Herman E. Slotnick (1979). Alaska: A History of the 49th State. Eerdmans. p. 309. ISBN 0-8028-7041-4.
  11. ^ AK Const. art. III, § 4
  12. ^ AK Const. art. III, § 5
  13. ^ AK Const. art. III, § 11
  14. ^ a b AK Const. amendments
  15. ^ "Walter J. Hickel". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  16. ^ Sobel p. 45
  17. ^ "Alaska's Gov. Bill Sheffield, who survived a Watergate-flavored impeachment effort last summer, conceded Wednesday to challenger Steve Cowper, becoming the first state chief executive to lose a primary this year". UPI. August 27, 1986. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  18. ^ "Alaska's Gov. Hickel Rejoins Gop Amid Speculation Over Another Term". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. April 15, 1994. Retrieved September 28, 2008.
  19. ^ "STATE OF ALASKA - 2006 PRIMARY ELECTION AUGUST 22, 2006 OFFICIAL RESULTS". Archived from the original on March 4, 2010. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  20. ^ "Legal Bills Swayed Palin, Official Says". The New York Times. July 5, 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  21. ^ "2014 General Election November 4, 2014 Official Results". elections.alaska.gov. November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  22. ^ Forgey, Pat (July 28, 2009). "Alaska gets first ever 'temporary substitute' lt. governor". Juneau Empire. Archived from the original on October 13, 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  23. ^ "House Journal, Alaska State Legislature, Twenty-Sixth Legislature, First Special Session". legis.state.ak.us. State of Alaska. August 10, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  24. ^ Hobson, Margaret Kriz (October 24, 2018). "Chaos, questions in Alaska as governor's race shrinks". E&E News. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  25. ^ Zak, Annie; Hanlon, Tegan; DeMarban, Alex (October 16, 2018). "Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott abruptly resigns following "inappropriate comments"". Anchorage Daily News.

External linksEdit