|Loren Leman as lieutenant governor of Alaska|
|10th Lieutenant Governor of Alaska|
December 2, 2002 – December 4, 2006
|Preceded by||Fran Ulmer|
|Succeeded by||Sean Parnell|
December 2, 1950 |
Pomona, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Carolyn Rae Leman (née Bratvold)|
|Profession||civil engineer, fisherman|
Loren Dwight Leman (born December 2, 1950) was the tenth Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, traces his family history in Alaska to a marriage in Kodiak more than 200 years ago between a Russian shipbuilder and an Alutiiq woman from Afognak.
In November 2002, Leman, a member of the Republican Party, became the first person with Alaska Native ancestry to be elected to statewide office when he was chosen as Alaska's eighth lieutenant governor. Before that, he served in the Alaska Legislature for 14 years, where he was known as a social conservative, pro-development, pro-business, environmentally-conscious, a supporter of Alaska’s military and taxpayer-friendly. He represented western Anchorage in the State House from 1989 to 1993 and northwest Anchorage in the State Senate from January 1993 to December 2002. In addition to other assignments, he chaired the Senate State Affairs, Labor & Commerce and Resources committees, served on its Finance Committee and finished as the Senate Majority Leader. In the fall of 2002 Leman campaigned to win the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor. His opponents in that Republican race were Gail Phillips, State Representative from Homer, Robin Taylor, State Senator from Wrangell, and Sarah Palin who had been a mayor of Wasilla. Leman won. Palin was a close second, within 2,000 votes.
As a legislator and subsequently as Lieutenant Governor, his interests included budget discipline, education accountability, promoting wise use of Alaska's natural resources, and strongly supporting the right to life. Leman was an advocate for fiscal responsibility through adopting and following a five-year plan to reduce State spending by $250 million. A social conservative, he led efforts to require parental notification for teens seeking to have abortions and sponsored a 1998 constitutional amendment that defined marrriage as between one man and one women. He was also active on the multi-state Energy Council, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and Pacific States Legislative Task Force. He taught the Alaska constitution and legislative process to Boys and Girls State delegates, “Winning Women” seminars and has been a guest lecturer to high school and University of Alaska students. During his four years as Lieutenant Governor Leman led Alaska's Faith-Based & Community Initiatives, to develop synergies between government and Alaska's faith communities. After barely one year of existence of this initiative, the White House recognized Alaska as a “role model State” for its FBCI achievements. As Lieutenant Governor Leman spoke on the role of people of faith in politics and community service. He represented the State as one of seven commissioners on the Denali Commission, a unique State-federal cooperative effort to improve health care, energy, transportation, economic opportunities and workforce development, primarily in rural Alaska.
There was speculation Leman might run for governor in 2006, either challenging Frank Murkowski in the primary or running for an open seat if Murkowski retired. Leman planned an announcement in February 2006, but postponed the news to talk more to his family about the decision. In May 2006, Murkowski announced his plans to run for reelection. A few days later, Leman declined a run for the office (saying Murkowski's decision was only one of many factors) and also opted out of a second term as lieutenant governor. Republican Sean Parnell succeeded Leman.
Loren Leman has long maintained an avid interest in transportation improvements in Alaska. He has managed projects to improve airports, was an early supporter of the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation’s launch facilities on Kodiak, served on the Board of Directors of the Challenger Learning Center in Kenai and as the national chairman of the Aerospace States Association, an organization of Lieutenant Governors and Governor-appointed delegates from space ports and academia who advise Congress on aviation and space issues. He was also a sponsor of legislation to enable the Alaska Railroad to complete its most recent track realignment and improvement project from Ship Creek to Wasilla. He has championed road, port and harbor, and building improvements and served on the Legislature’s Deferred Maintenance Task Force in the mid-1990s, identifying more than $1.4 billion in infrastructure improvement needs.
His other work history includes consulting civil/environmental engineering and fishing. A registered civil engineer in Alaska, his engineering work during the past 33 years has spanned the entire State, from Ketchikan to Kotzebue, Unalaska to Wasilla to Yakutat. In 1999 then-Senator Leman was nominated by the Alaska Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and went on to win the national Civil Government award from ASCE, the world’s premier civil engineering society, for his work in improving education, developing resources and improving transportation in Alaska.
Leman was raised in a commercial fishing family in Alaska, watched his father operate a fish trap during Territorial days, before this fishing method was outlawed by referendum in 1959, and subsequently has worked the family salmon setnet operation on Cook Inlet near Ninilchik. He longlined for halibut in Cook Inlet and harvested herring roe on kelp in Prince William Sound. He was raised in Ninilchik, where he graduated from high school in 1968. He received his Bachelors' degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University in 1972 and Masters degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering from Stanford University in 1973.
He and his wife Carolyn have three children.
- Sutton, Anne. (2006-05-30).
- Office of the Lieutenant Governor – official website as of April 24, 2006, when Leman was still in office (through Internet Archive)
- Alaska's Digital Archives – Photo of Leman, 1968, with Ernest Gruening and Tom Anderson. Leman and Anderson were Alaska's William Randolph Hearst scholars that year.
- Loren Leman at 100 Years of Alaska's Legislature
|Lieutenant Governor of Alaska