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In May 1994 he was elected as a Scottish National Party councillor to the former Tayside Regional Council and after only eight weeks was controversially appointed to be Leader of the Administration after the resignation of the previous leader, Councillor Lena Graham. In so doing Mr Dow made history as the youngest ever Scottish council leader since records began, being elected to this post at the age of 22 years.
In April 1995 Dow was elected to the newly formed Perth and Kinross Council and following the abolishment of Tayside Regional Council in 1996 served as depute leader and finance convener in the Perth and Kinross Council's SNP administration until losing his council seat in the 1999 Scottish local government elections.
In 2004 Dow was elected to the SNP's National Disciplinary Committee being re-elected in 2005 and 2006 when he was appointed convener of the committee in succession to Lachie McNeill.
At the 2007 Scottish Parliament Election Dow stood for the SNP in the Dunfermline East constituency coming second with 28.5% of the vote an increase of 10.1% on the 2003 election and securing the highest vote share achieved by the SNP in the constituency.
Dow is business development partner in his family's Kelty based bereavement services firm and lives in Perthshire with his wife, Corrie.
-  www.scottishpolitics.org - Dunfermline East Candidates 2007 Scottish Parliament Election
-  "SNP 'stripling general' has resurrected generation gap: The election of Britain's youngest council leader has provoked protest on Tayside" Independent Newspaper - 11 July 1994
-  "New Cowden board meet for first time" Central Fife Times - 11 September 2008