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Governor of Alaska
AlaskaStateSealTransparent.png
Official seal
Incumbent
Sean Parnell

since July 26, 2009
Term length Four years
Inaugural holder William A. Egan
Formation January 3, 1959
Website gov.state.ak.us/
Governor of Alaska's office at the Alaska State Capitol

The Governor of Alaska is the chief executive of the State of Alaska. The governor is the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces (including the Alaska National Guard and Alaska State Defense Force), has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Alaska Legislature,[1] to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of impeachment.[2]

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.[3] 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.[4] Should the office of governor become vacant, the lieutenant governor assumes the title of governor.[5] 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.[6]

There have been nine governors of the State of Alaska over 11 distinct terms, though Alaska had over 30 civilian and military governors during its long history as a United States territory. Two people, William Allen Egan and Walter Joseph "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 as a Alaskan Independence Party member. The longest-serving governor of the state was Egan, who served nearly 12 years in his two non-consecutive terms. The longest-serving territorial governor was Ernest Gruening, who served 13½ years.

The current governor is Sean Parnell, who took office on July 26, 2009, following the resignation of Sarah Palin.

Contents

Governors

Alaska was purchased by the United States from Russia in 1867, with formal transfer occurring on October 18, 1867, which is now celebrated as Alaska Day.[7] Prior to then, it was known as Russian America or Russian Alaska, controlled by the governors and general managers of the Russian-American Company.

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Commanders of the Department of Alaska

Jefferson C. Davis, first commander of the Department of Alaska
Alfred P. Swineford, second governor of the District of Alaska
Ernest Gruening, seventh governor of Alaska Territory, and one of the first two U.S. senators from Alaska
Walter J. Hickel, second and eighth governor of Alaska, and 38th United States Secretary of the Interior
Jay Hammond, fifth governor of Alaska
Sarah Palin, eleventh governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee

The vast region was initially designated the Department of Alaska, under the jurisdiction of the Department of War and administered by 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.[8]

Supposedly, 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.[9]

# Commander Took office Left office
United States Army
1 Brevet Major General Jefferson C. Davis October 18, 1867 August 31, 1870
2 Brevet Lieutenant Colonel George K. Brady September 1, 1870 September 22, 1870
3 Maj. John C. Tidball September 23, 1870 September 19, 1871
4 Maj. Harvey A. Allen September 20, 1871 January 3, 1873
5 Maj. Joseph Stewart January 4, 1873 April 20, 1874
6 Captain George R. Rodney April 21, 1874 August 16, 1874
7 Capt. Joseph B. Campbell August 17, 1874 June 14, 1876
8 Capt. John Mendenhall June 15, 1876 March 4, 1877
9 Capt. Arthur Morris March 5, 1877 June 14, 1877
United States Department of the Treasury
10 Montgomery P. Berry June 14, 1877 August 13, 1877
11 H.C. DeAhna August 14, 1877 March 26, 1878
12 Mottrom D. Ball March 27, 1878 June 13, 1879
United States Navy
13 Capt. Lester A. Beardslee June 14, 1879 September 12, 1880
14 Commander Henry Glass September 13, 1880 August 9, 1881
15 Cmdr. Edward P. Lull August 10, 1881 October 18, 1881
16 Cmdr. Henry Glass October 19, 1881 March 12, 1882
17 Cmdr. Frederick Pearson March 13, 1882 October 3, 1882
18 Cmdr. Edgar C. Merriman October 4, 1882 September 13, 1883
19 Cmdr. Joseph B. Coghlan September 15, 1883 September 13, 1884
20 Cmdr. Henry E. Nichols September 14, 1884 September 15, 1884

Governors of the District of Alaska

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.

Governor Took office Left office Appointed by
Kinkead, John HenryJohn Henry Kinkead 01884-07-04 July 4, 1884 01885-05-07 May 7, 1885 Arthur, Chester A.Chester A. Arthur
Swineford, Alfred P.Alfred P. Swineford 01885-05-07 May 7, 1885 01889-04-20 April 20, 1889 Cleveland, GroverGrover Cleveland
Knapp, Lyman EnosLyman Enos Knapp 01889-04-20 April 20, 1889 01893-06-18 June 18, 1893 Harrison, BenjaminBenjamin Harrison
Sheakley, JamesJames Sheakley 01893-06-18 June 18, 1893 01897-06-23 June 23, 1897 Cleveland, GroverGrover Cleveland
Brady, John GreenJohn Green Brady 01897-06-23 June 23, 1897 01906-03-02 March 2, 1906[N 1] McKinley, WilliamWilliam McKinley
Hoggatt, Wilford BaconWilford Bacon Hoggatt 01906-03-02 March 2, 1906 01909-05-20 May 20, 1909 Roosevelt, TheodoreTheodore Roosevelt
Clark, Walter EliWalter Eli Clark 01909-05-20 May 20, 1909 01913-04-18 April 18, 1913 Taft, William HowardWilliam Howard Taft

Governors of Alaska Territory

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. During World War II, parts of the Aleutian Islands were occupied by Imperial Japan from June 5, 1942, to June 28, 1943.

Governor Took office Left office Appointed by Notes
Strong, John Franklin AlexanderJohn Franklin Alexander Strong 01913-04-18 April 18, 1913 01918-04-12 April 12, 1918 Wilson, WoodrowWoodrow Wilson [N 2]
Riggs, Jr., Thomas ChristmasThomas Christmas Riggs, Jr. 01918-04-12 April 12, 1918 01921-06-16 June 16, 1921 Wilson, WoodrowWoodrow Wilson
Bone, Scott CordelleScott Cordelle Bone 01921-06-16 June 16, 1921 01925-08-16 August 16, 1925 Harding, Warren G.Warren G. Harding
Parks, George AlexanderGeorge Alexander Parks 01925-08-16 August 16, 1925 01933-04-19 April 19, 1933 Coolidge, CalvinCalvin Coolidge
Troy, John WeirJohn Weir Troy 01933-04-19 April 19, 1933 01939-12-06 December 6, 1939 Roosevelt, Franklin DelanoFranklin Delano Roosevelt
Gruening, ErnestErnest Gruening 01939-12-06 December 6, 1939 01953-04-10 April 10, 1953 Roosevelt, Franklin DelanoFranklin Delano Roosevelt [N 3]
Heintzleman, Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin Heintzleman 01953-04-10 April 10, 1953 01957-01-03 January 3, 1957 Eisenhower, Dwight D.Dwight D. Eisenhower [N 4]
Hendrickson, Waino EdwardWaino Edward Hendrickson 01957-01-03 January 3, 1957 01957-04-08 April 8, 1957 acting [N 5]
Stepovich, Michael AnthonyMichael Anthony Stepovich 01957-04-08 April 8, 1957 01958-08-09 August 9, 1958 Eisenhower, Dwight D.Dwight D. Eisenhower [N 6]
Hendrickson, Waino EdwardWaino Edward Hendrickson 01958-08-09 August 9, 1958 01959-01-03 January 3, 1959 acting [N 5]

Governors of the State of Alaska

Alaska was admitted to the Union on January 3, 1959.

There have been six governors from the Republican Party, five from the Democratic Party, and one, Walter J. Hickel, who was elected under the Alaskan Independence Party during his second period in office. Many Republicans were unhappy with the choice of Arliss Sturgulewski as their party's candidate for governor in the 1990 election, and Hickel was able to attract their votes. However, he never held the AIP's secessionist ideals, and switched back to the Republican Party eight months before his term ended.

      Democratic (5)       Republican (6)       Alaskan Independence (1)
(above numbering includes repeat governors but only counts Hickel's second term as being with the AIP)

# Governor Term start Term end Party Lieutenant Governor[N 7] Terms[N 8]
1   William A. Egan January 3, 1959 December 5, 1966 Democratic   Hugh Wade 2
2 Walter J. Hickel December 5, 1966 January 29, 1969 Republican Keith Miller ½[N 9]
3 Keith Miller January 29, 1969 December 7, 1970 Republican Robert W. Ward ½[N 10]
4 William A. Egan December 7, 1970 December 2, 1974 Democratic H. A. "Red" Boucher 1
5 Jay Hammond December 2, 1974 December 6, 1982 Republican Lowell Thomas, Jr. 2
Terry Miller
6 Bill Sheffield December 6, 1982 December 1, 1986 Democratic Stephen McAlpine 1
7 Steve Cowper December 1, 1986 December 3, 1990 Democratic Stephen McAlpine 1
8 Walter J. Hickel December 3, 1990 December 5, 1994 Alaskan Independence Jack Coghill 1[N 11]
Republican
9 Tony Knowles December 5, 1994 December 2, 2002 Democratic Fran Ulmer 2
10 Frank Murkowski December 2, 2002 December 4, 2006 Republican Loren Leman 1
11 Sarah Palin December 4, 2006 July 26, 2009 Republican Sean Parnell ½[N 12]
12 Sean Parnell July 26, 2009 incumbent Republican Craig Campbell[N 13] ½[N 14][N 15]

Other high offices held

This is a table of congressional seats, other federal offices, and other governorships held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Alaska except where noted.

Denotes those offices that the governor resigned to take.
† Denotes those offices that the governor resigned to be governor.
Governor Gubernatorial term Other offices held Sources
Kinkead, John HenryJohn Henry Kinkead 1884–1885 (district) Governor of Nevada [19]
Sheakley, JamesJames Sheakley 1893–1897 (district) U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania [20]
Gruening, ErnestErnest Gruening 1939–1953 (territorial) U.S. Senator [21]
Hickel, Walter J.Walter J. Hickel 1966–1969, 1990–1994 U.S. Secretary of the Interior* [22]
Murkowski, FrankFrank Murkowski 2002–2006 U.S. Senator† [23]

Living former governors

As of February 2010, eight former governors were alive, including Michael Anthony Stepovich, the last living pre-statehood governor in the United States. The most recent death of a former governor was that of Jay Hammond (1974–1982), who died on August 2, 2005.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Michael Anthony Stepovich 1957–1958 (territorial) March 12, 1919 (1919-03-12) (age 91)
Walter J. Hickel 1966–1969, 1990–1994 August 18, 1919 (1919-08-18) (age 90)
Keith Miller 1969–1970 March 1, 1925 (1925-03-01) (age 85)
Bill Sheffield 1982–1986 June 26, 1928 (1928-06-26) (age 81)
Steve Cowper 1986–1990 August 21, 1938 (1938-08-21) (age 71)
Tony Knowles 1994–2002 January 1, 1943 (1943-01-01) (age 67)
Frank Murkowski 2002–2006 March 28, 1933 (1933-03-28) (age 76)
Sarah Palin 2006–2009 February 11, 1964 (1964-02-11) (age 46)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Forced to resign due to his involvement with the fraudulent Reynolds–Alaska Development Company[10]
  2. ^ Resigned; was asked to resign after it was discovered he was still a Canadian citizen[11]
  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.[12]
  4. ^ Resigned; was reportedly unhappy with the job, and did not expect to be reappointed[13]
  5. ^ a b As secretary of Alaska, acted as governor[14]
  6. ^ Resigned to run for U.S. Senate, losing that election[14]
  7. ^ The office of lieutenant governor was named secretary of state until 1970.[6]
  8. ^ The fractional terms of some governors are not to be understood absolutely literally; rather, they are meant to show single terms during which multiple governors served, due to resignations, deaths and the like.
  9. ^ Resigned to become United States Secretary of the Interior
  10. ^ As secretary of state, filled unexpired term
  11. ^ Hickel was elected as a member of the Alaskan Independent Party, and switched to the Republican party in April 1994.[15]
  12. ^ Resigned, citing ethics investigations.[16]
  13. ^ Campbell's position was termed "Temporary Substitute Lieutenant Governor"[17] until he was confirmed by the Alaska Legislature on August 10, 2009.[18]
  14. ^ Governor Parnell's first term expires December 6, 2010; he is not yet term limited.
  15. ^ As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term.

References

General
Constitution
Specific
  1. ^ AK Const. art. II, § 15
  2. ^ AK Const. art. III
  3. ^ AK Const. art. III, § 4
  4. ^ AK Const. art. III, § 5
  5. ^ AK Const. art. III, § 11
  6. ^ a b "Constitutional Amendments". Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. http://ltgov.alaska.gov/campbellold/services/constitution.php?section=amendments. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  7. ^ "State Symbols". Alaska Office of Economic Development. http://www.dced.state.ak.us/oed/student_info/student.htm. Retrieved August 26, 2008. 
  8. ^ Gates p. 86
  9. ^ Ruskin, Liz (2002-12-20). "Barking up the wrong Pole: Hero wasn't governor". Anchorage Daily News. http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/wbkrzyzanowski.htm. Retrieved August 26, 2008. 
  10. ^ Janson, Lone (1975). The Copper Spike. Alaska Northwest Publishing Co.. p. 44. ISBN 0882400452. 
  11. ^ Gruening, Ernest (1973). Many Battles: The Autobiography of Ernest Gruening. Liveright. p. 216. ISBN 0871405652. 
  12. ^ Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. University of Washington Press. 1997. p. 319. ISBN 029597558X. http://books.google.com/books?id=7r3U_KuP_Q0C. 
  13. ^ Naske, Claus-M. (1985). A History of Alaska Statehood. University Press of America. p. 244. ISBN 0819145564. 
  14. ^ a b Naske, Claus-M.; Herman E. Slotnick (1979). Alaska: A History of the 49th State. Eerdmans. p. 309. ISBN 0802870414. 
  15. ^ "Alaska's Gov. Hickel Rejoins Gop Amid Speculation Over Another Term". The Seattle Times (Seattle, Washington: The Seattle Times Company). April 15, 1994. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19940415&slug=1905548. Retrieved September 28, 2008. 
  16. ^ Cockerham, Sean (July 7, 2009). "Palin says ethics investigations were paralyzing". Anchorage Daily News. http://www.adn.com/palin/story/855907.html. 
  17. ^ "Campbell Becomes Temporary Substitute LG". State of Alaska. July 26, 2009. http://www.ltgov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=5. Retrieved July 27, 2009. 
  18. ^ "House Journal, Alaska State Legislature, Twenty-Sixth Legislature, First Special Session". State of Alaska. August 10, 2009. http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_single_journal.asp?session=26&date=20090810&beg_page=1247&end_page=1258&chamber=H. Retrieved December 17, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Nevada Governor John Henry Kinkead". National Governor's Association. http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.29fab9fb4add37305ddcbeeb501010a0/?vgnextoid=e68c2243a15a7010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD&vgnextchannel=e449a0ca9e3f1010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Sheakley, James". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=S000313. Retrieved August 13, 2008. 
  21. ^ "Gruening, Ernest". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=G000508. Retrieved August 13, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Alaska Governor Walter J. Hickel". National Governors Association. http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.29fab9fb4add37305ddcbeeb501010a0/?vgnextoid=1307ae3effb81010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD&vgnextchannel=e449a0ca9e3f1010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  23. ^ "Murkowski, Frank Hughes". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M001085. Retrieved August 13, 2008. 

External links


Simple English

The Governor of Alaska is the head of the executive branch of Alaska's government and the leader of the state's military. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Alaska Legislature,[1] to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of impeachment.[2]

The current Governor of Alaska is Sarah Palin, who is the Republican Party's nominee for Vice President in the 2008 election.

References

  1. AK Const. art. II, § 15
  2. AK Const. art. III



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