||The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's general notability guideline. (January 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
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. During that time Dow led the fight against both the then Conservative and subsequent Labour Governments for funding for the proposed multi million pound Perth Flood Prevention Scheme much to the ire of local Tory Member of Parliament for North Tayside Bill Walker.
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 a staunch republican and caused controversy in the late 1990s by referring to the British Royal Family as "Lizzie Windsor and the Spongers" during a debate on the monarchy at an SNP Annual Conference.
-  "SNP backs youth as 22-year-old is given purse-strings of a #500m budget" The Herald - 6 July 1994
-  "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
-  "£21m flood defences for Perth" The Herald - 25 September 1997
-  UK Parliament Early Day Motion 570 - February 1997
-  BBC Scottish Elections 2007 - Dunfermline East result
-  "New Cowden board meet for first time" Central Fife Times - 11 September 2008
-  "SNP regional list rankings for Holyrood 2011" Lallands Peat Worrier blog
-  "Royals seek deal to keep Scotland" The Independent - 5 April 1999
- McIntosh, Lindsay. "SNP members 'care more about selfies with Nicola than policy'". www.thetimes.co.uk. The Times. Retrieved 26 May 2016.