List of Governors of Alaska

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Governor of Alaska
State Seal of Alaska.svg
Senator Mike Dunleavy.jpg
Incumbent
Mike Dunleavy

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

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.

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 statehood[edit]

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 Alaska[edit]

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the jurisdiction of the Department of War and administered by the U.S. Army officers until 1877, when the Army was withdrawn from Alaska.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.jpg Jefferson C. Davis Army Colonel October 18, 1867

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

September 22, 1870
3 Tidball BVT BG John C 1865.jpg John C. Tidball Army Major September 23, 1870

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

January 3, 1873
5 Capt. Joseph Stewart.jpg 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.jpg Lester A. Beardslee Navy Captain June 14, 1879

September 12, 1880
14 Henry Glass.jpg 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.jpg 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 RADM Joseph Coghlan.JPG 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 Alaska[edit]

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.gif John Henry Kinkead July 4, 1884

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

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

June 18, 1893
Benjamin Harrison
4 McLaurin(1902) pic.109 Governor SHEAKLEY.jpg James Sheakley June 18, 1893

June 23, 1897
Grover Cleveland
5 John G Brady.jpg John Green Brady June 23, 1897

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

May 20, 1909
Theodore Roosevelt
7 Portrait of Walter Eli Clark.jpg Walter Eli Clark May 20, 1909

August 24, 1912
William Howard Taft

Governors of the Territory of Alaska[edit]

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 Portrait of Walter Eli Clark.jpg Walter Eli Clark August 24, 1912

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

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

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

August 16, 1925
Warren G. Harding
5 George Alexander Parks.jpg 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 (D-AK).jpg 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.png Waino Hendrickson January 3, 1957

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

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

January 3, 1959
Acting[e]

Governors of the State of Alaska[edit]

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 title 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.jpg   William A. Egan January 3, 1959

December 5, 1966
(term limited)
Democratic 1958   Hugh Wade
1962
2 Hickel.gif Wally Hickel December 5, 1966

January 29, 1969
(resigned)[j]
Republican 1966 Keith Harvey Miller
3 Keith H. Miller.jpg 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.jpg William A. Egan December 7, 1970

December 2, 1974
(lost election)
Democratic 1970 H. A. Boucher
4 Jay Hammond 1975.jpg Jay Hammond December 2, 1974

December 6, 1982
(term limited)
Republican 1974 Lowell Thomas Jr.
1978 Terry Miller
5
Bill Sheffield 1989.jpg
Bill Sheffield December 6, 1982

December 1, 1986
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1982 Steve McAlpine
6 Steve Cowper 1990.jpg Steve Cowper December 1, 1986

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

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

December 2, 2002
(term limited)
Democratic 1994 Fran Ulmer
1998
8 Frank Murkowski, 105th Congress photo.jpg Frank Murkowski December 2, 2002

December 4, 2006
(not candidate for election)
Republican 2002 Loren Leman
9 Sarah Palin Germany 3 Cropped Lightened.JPG Sarah Palin December 4, 2006

July 26, 2009
(resigned)[l]
Republican 2006 Sean Parnell
10 Former Governor of Alaska Sean Parnell.jpg Sean Parnell July 26, 2009

December 1, 2014
(lost election)[19]
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
Craig Campbell
(took office August 10, 2009)[m]
2010 Mead Treadwell
11 Bill Walker.jpg Bill Walker December 1, 2014

December 3, 2018
(withdrew from election)[22]
Independent 2014 Byron Mallott
(resigned October 16, 2018)[23]
Valerie Davidson
12 Senator Mike Dunleavy.jpg Mike Dunleavy December 3, 2018

present[n]
Republican 2018 Kevin Meyer

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brady was forced to resign due to his involvement with the fraudulent Reynolds–Alaska Development Company.[5]
  2. ^ 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. ^ Resigned; was reportedly 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. ^ Resigned to run for 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. ^ Hickel was elected as a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, and switched to the Republican party in April 1994.[17]
  12. ^ Palin resigned, citing the costs of ethics investigations.[18]
  13. ^ Campbell's position was termed "Temporary Substitute Lieutenant Governor[20] until he was confirmed by the Alaska Legislature on August 10, 2009.[21]
  14. ^ Dunleavy's first term expires on December 5, 2022.

References[edit]

General
  • "Alaska: Past Governors Bios". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  • 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.
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 November 24, 2018.
  16. ^ "1970 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Alaska" (PDF). Alaska Division of Elections. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
  17. ^ "Alaska's Gov. Hickel Rejoins Gop Amid Speculation Over Another Term". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. April 15, 1994. Retrieved September 28, 2008.
  18. ^ "Legal Bills Swayed Palin, Official Says". The New York Times. July 5, 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  19. ^ "2014 General Election November 4, 2014 Official Results". elections.alaska.gov. November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ Zak, Annie (2018-10-19). "Gov. Bill Walker drops out of campaign for Alaska governor". Anchorage Daily News. Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  23. ^ Zak, Annie; Hanlon, Tegan; DeMarban, Alex (October 16, 2018). "Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott abruptly resigns following "inappropriate comments"". Anchorage Daily News.

External links[edit]