Steve McAlpine

Stephen Alan "Steve" McAlpine (born May 23, 1949) is an American lawyer and politician. McAlpine served as the lieutenant governor of Alaska from 1982 until 1990.[1]

Steve McAlpine
Steve McAlpine and Ernie Piper.jpg
5th Lieutenant Governor of Alaska
In office
December 6, 1982 – December 3, 1990
GovernorBill Sheffield
Steve Cowper
Preceded byTerry Miller
Succeeded byJack Coghill
Mayor of Valdez, Alaska
In office
Preceded byBill Walker
Succeeded bySusy Collins
Personal details
Stephen Alan McAlpine

(1949-05-23) May 23, 1949 (age 71)
Yakima, Washington, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
ParentsRobert E. McAlpine
Myrtle B. McAlpine (née Loomis)
EducationMaryknoll Seminary
Alma materUniversity of Washington
University of Puget Sound School of Law

Early lifeEdit

Stephen Alan McAlpine was born in Yakima, Washington on May 23, 1949, the fourth child of Robert E. and Myrtle B. (née Loomis) McAlpine. He attended school in Yakima, as well as two years at Maryknoll Seminary in Mountain View, California. He attended the University of Washington, graduating with a degree in history and political science. He later graduated from the University of Puget Sound School of Law in 1976.

McAlpine originally came to Alaska in 1970 accompanied by a friend from college, Mano Frey. The two visited Alaska while taking a break from studies and decided to stay, settling in Valdez. They worked construction during the building of the trans-Alaska pipeline. McAlpine continued his studies until earning his law degree, while Frey would go on to become a major labor union figure in Alaska, serving as head of Alaska's AFL-CIO from 1984 to 2002.

Law careerEdit

In 1977, McAlpine partnered with James D. Ginotti in the Law Firm of Ginotti & McAlpine, PC.

Following the end of his tenure in elected office (see below), McAlpine moved to Anchorage, Alaska and resumed the practice of law, which he continues to the present day.

Political careerEdit

Local politicsEdit

During the late 1970s, McAlpine was elected to the Valdez city council and went on to serve two terms as mayor of Valdez.

Lieutenant governorEdit

In 1982, he was elected as lieutenant governor of Alaska, serving with Governor Bill Sheffield, an Anchorage hotelier. Sheffield, plagued by various scandals in his administration during his term as governor, lost renomination in the 1986 primary election to Steve Cowper, a Fairbanks lawyer and former state representative. McAlpine won renomination as lieutenant governor, however, and in the general election, was reelected alongside Cowper.

As his tenure as lieutenant governor occurred during the Exxon Valdez oil spill, McAlpine found himself the subject of national media attention, particularly given his ties to Valdez.

McAlpine later ran for governor, but lost in the primary election to Tony Knowles.


McAlpine holds a number of distinctions resulting from his tenure as lieutenant governor. When elected in 1982, McAlpine was the first baby boomer elected to statewide office in Alaska. His election at age 33 made him the youngest person elected to statewide office in Alaska, which still stands today. He is also the only two-term lieutenant governor in the state's history to have served under different governors.


Political offices
Preceded by
Terry Miller
Lieutenant Governor of Alaska
Succeeded by
Jack Coghill