|7th Governor of Alaska|
December 5, 1994 –December 2, 2002
|Preceded by||Wally Hickel|
|Succeeded by||Frank Murkowski|
|Mayor of Anchorage|
|Preceded by||George M. Sullivan|
|Succeeded by||Tom Fink|
Anthony Carroll Knowles
January 1, 1943
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Education||Yale University (BA)|
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1962–1966|
|Unit||82nd Airborne Division|
Anthony Carroll Knowles (born January 1, 1943) is an American politician and businessman who served as the seventh governor of Alaska from December 1994 to December 2002. Barred from seeking a third consecutive term as governor in 2002, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and again for governor in 2006. In September 2008, Knowles became president of the National Energy Policy Institute, a non-profit energy policy organization funded by billionaire George Kaiser's family foundation, and located at the University of Tulsa.
Knowles was discussed as a potential Secretary of the Interior or Secretary of Energy in an Obama cabinet, but in December 2008, Knowles was passed over in favor of Steven Chu as Energy secretary. He was also passed over in favor of Ken Salazar as Interior secretary. On April 28, 2010, Knowles was appointed to the National Park System Advisory Board by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. As of 2021, he is the most recent Governor of Alaska from the Democratic Party.
Knowles was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He volunteered for the United States Army in 1962, joining the 82nd Airborne Division, and later served in Vietnam. Knowles achieved passage of legislation to create guaranteed veterans housing in the state's Pioneer's Homes, and honored their service through official days of recognition and the naming of Mount POW/MIA.
He earned a degree in economics from Yale University in 1968. There, he was a Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Phi chapter) brother of George W. Bush. After graduation, he moved to Alaska and worked on oil drilling rigs on the North Slope and in Cook Inlet. In 1969, Knowles started his first of four restaurants including the Downtown Deli & Café in Anchorage.
An avid fly fisherman, cross-country skier, and (retired) marathon runner, Tony Knowles and his wife, former First Lady of Alaska Susan Knowles, currently reside in Anchorage, Alaska. They have three children, Devon, Luke, and Sara. His older brother, Porter Knowles, resides in Kansas.
After three terms in the Anchorage Assembly, he served two terms as mayor of Anchorage from 1981 to 1987. Knowles first ran for governor in 1990, but was defeated by Walter Hickel. In 1994, he defeated former lieutenant governor Stephen McAlpine in the Democratic primary and was elected governor in the general election. Knowles's election was surprisingly close, but he also benefitted from the split conservative vote due to a strong third-party gubernatorial bid by the sitting lieutenant governor. In the election, Knowles received 41.1%, Republican candidate Jim Campbell 40.8% and lieutenant governor Jack Coghill of the Alaskan Independence Party 13%.
Knowles won the 1998 election in a landslide, defeating Republican John Lindauer 51%-18%. Knowles's margin of victory in this race was due largely to a collapsed campaign from Republican John Lindauer, controversy surrounding Lindauer and his misrepresentation of facts on campaign finance documents, and questions about Lindauer's state residency.Republican Robin L. Taylor, who was defeated in the primary by Lindauer, garnered 20% of the vote after announcing his write-in campaign only one week prior to the election. Knowles did not run for reelection in 2002 due to a consecutive two-term limit. Alaska law allows for more terms, but requires a break between two consecutive terms and a third.
During the September 11 attacks, Korean Air Flight 85 from Seoul was feared to have been hijacked. Worried that a possible hijacked plane might strike a target in Alaska, Governor Tony Knowles ordered the evacuation of large hotels and government buildings in Anchorage.
Knowles was chair of the Western Governors' Association in 1997, two-term chair of the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, and a member of the Pew Oceans Commission (POC).
During his term, Knowles established Denali Kid Care, which provides basic health care for 25,000 children and 5,000 pregnant women. The National Child Welfare League named Knowles as their Child Advocate of the Year in 1998.[ citation needed ]
A strong supporter of the Alaska National Guard, Knowles was recipient of the Guard's Pro Patria award and the 2001 Charles Dick Silver Medal of Merit.
Governor Knowles forged the "Millennium Agreement", a government-to-government agreement with tribes to foster rural delivery of services and economic development. He earned special recognition by the National Congress of American Indians in 2001 and, with Marshall Lind, the 2002 Alaska Federation of Natives Denali Award, the highest award given to a non-native.
Knowles pushed Canadian officials to adopt his "safe passage" principle to protect Pacific salmon and their freshwater habitat, leading to the successful negotiation of the first coast wide salmon treaty in decades.
During his final term as governor, Republicans in the Alaska Legislature attacked him as a weak leader who avoided taking a position on several issues, as exemplified by their "Where's Tony?" campaign.
In 2004, he ran for the United States Senate, as the Democratic challenger to Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski, who had been appointed to her seat by her father, former Senator then Governor Frank Murkowski. Knowles was at first thought likely to win by many, but he was narrowly defeated in the election.
Knowles is an outspoken opponent of capital punishment.Knowles is pro-choice, and opposes restrictions on abortion at any stage of pregnancy. He vetoed several bills passed by the state legislature regarding abortion including a ban on intact dilation and extraction abortions.
On May 29, 2006, he announced his bid to return to the governor's office in 2006.On August 22, 2006, Knowles defeated Eric Croft in the Democratic primary to become the Democratic nominee for Governor of Alaska in the general election.
On November 7, 2006, Knowles lost the Governorship in the general election to Republican Sarah Palin.Although many had predicted a close race, including pollsters for both parties, Knowles lost by 7 points, polling lower than in his 2004 bid for the U.S. Senate.
In September 2008, Knowles became president of the National Energy Policy Institute, a non-profit energy policy organization funded by billionaire George Kaiser's family foundation, and located at the University of Tulsa.
Due to his early support for Barack Obama, his status as a former governor of a western state, and his long-term involvement in oil and energy concerns, Knowles was discussed as a potential Secretary of the Interior or Secretary of Energy in an Obama cabinet. In December 2008 Knowles was passed over in favor of Steven Chu as Energy secretary, and passed over in favor of Ken Salazar as Interior secretary.
On April 28, 2010, Knowles was appointed to the National Park System Advisory Board by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
During his tenure, he opposed many of Zinke's policies, claiming in his resignation letter that Zinke had no interest in the "mitigation of climate change; engaging young generations; evolving a more diverse culture of park visitors, advocates and employees; bringing our schools to our parks and our parks to our schools; stressing park urbanization; (and) protecting the natural diversity of wildlife." Knowles led a mass resignation in Jan 2018, citing differences with the Interior Department, especially Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
|Nonpartisan||Joe L. Hayes||20,059||39.51|
|Nonpartisan||Drew M. Angel||144||0.28|
|Nonpartisan||Joe L. Hayes||21,463||46.66|
|Nonpartisan||Tony Knowles (incumbent)||32,624||49.4|
|Nonpartisan||Homer C. Miracle||144||0.0|
|Alaskan Independence||Walter Hickel||75,721||38.88|
|Alaskan Independence||Jack Coghill||27,838||13.04|
|Democratic||Tony Knowles (incumbent)||112,879||51.27|
|Republican||Robin Taylor (write-in)||40,209||18.26|
|Republican Moderate||Ray Metcalfe||13,540||6.15|
|Alaskan Independence||Jerry Sanders||3,785||1.2%|
|Alaskan Independence||Don Wright||1,285||0.54||-0.4|
|Write-in candidate||Write-in votes||384||0.16||+0.1|
Frances Ann "Fran" Ulmer is an American administrator and Democratic politician from the U.S. state of Alaska. She served as lieutenant governor of Alaska from 1994 to 2002 under Governor Tony Knowles, becoming the first woman elected to statewide office in Alaska. She later served as the Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).
Walter Joseph "Wally" Hickel was an American businessman, real estate developer, and politician. He worked as a construction worker and eventually became a construction company owner/operator during Alaska's territorial days. Following World War II, Hickel became heavily involved with real estate development, building residential subdivisions, shopping centers and hotels. Hickel entered politics in the 1950s during Alaska's battle for statehood and remained politically active for the rest of his life.
Lisa Ann Murkowski is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator for Alaska, having held that seat since 2002. Murkowski is the second-most senior Republican woman in the Senate, after Susan Collins of Maine. Like Collins, Murkowski is often described as one of the most moderate Republicans in the Senate and a crucial swing vote.
Kenneth Lee Salazar is an American lawyer and politician who served as the 50th United States Secretary of the Interior in the administration of President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously was a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009. He and Mel Martinez (R-Florida) were the first Hispanic U.S. Senators since 1977; they were joined by Bob Menendez in 2006. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, he served as Attorney General of Colorado from 1999 to 2005.
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Mark Peter Begich is an American politician who was a United States Senator from Alaska from 2009 to 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as Mayor of Anchorage from 2003 to 2009.
The 2006 Alaska gubernatorial general election took place on November 7, 2006. The former mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin, was elected governor.
John Howard Lindauer II is an American economist who served as chancellor for the University of Alaska Anchorage from 1976 to 1978 then was Dean of the School of Business and Public Affairs. He was the Republican Party candidate for governor of Alaska in 1998, but ultimately ended up pleading no contest to campaign finance violations. He is the father of Susan Lindauer and John Howard Lindauer III, and lived in Alaska from 1976 until 2002. He currently resides in Chicago.
Sean Randall Parnell is an American attorney and politician. He succeeded Sarah Palin in July 2009 to become the tenth governor of Alaska and served until 2014. Parnell was elected governor in his own right in 2010 with 59.06% of the vote, as the largest percentage margin of any Alaska governor since statehood. In 2014, he narrowly lost his bid for re-election and has since returned to work in the private sector. He is a member of the Republican Party.
The Alaska Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in Alaska, headquartered in Anchorage.
The 1998 Alaska gubernatorial general election took place on November 3, 1998. The election resulted in a landslide for the Democratic incumbent, Tony Knowles, who had won the 1994 gubernatorial election by only 536 votes. Knowles was the first incumbent governor to attain re-election since 1978. As of 2021, this is the most recent election in which a Democrat was elected Governor of Alaska and the most recent election in which an Alaskan governor won a second full term.
Robin L. Taylor is a lawyer from the U.S. state of Alaska. He has also served as a judge, government administrator and Republican Party politician. It is in this latter capacity that he is best known. Taylor served in the Alaska Legislature from 1985 to 2003. Running for governor of Alaska in 1998 in a blanket primary, Taylor was outpolled by John Lindauer for the Republican nomination. When questions arose over the source of Lindauer's campaign monies, Taylor reemerged as a write-in candidate for the office backed by the Republican Party of Alaska, who had disowned Lindauer. While Taylor outpolled Lindauer in the general election, both candidacies fell far behind that of incumbent Tony Knowles, who was elected to a second term.
The 2002 Alaska gubernatorial election took place on November 5, 2002 for the post of Governor of Alaska. Republican U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski defeated Democratic Lieutenant Governor Fran Ulmer. Murkowski became the first Republican elected governor of Alaska since Jay Hammond in 1978.
The 1994 Alaska gubernatorial election took place on November 8, 1994, for the post of Governor of Alaska, United States. Democratic candidate Tony Knowles narrowly defeated Republican candidate Jim Campbell and Lieutenant Governor Jack Coghill of the Alaskan Independence Party. In the Republican Revolution year of the 1994 elections, Alaska's was the only governor's seat in the country to switch from Republican to Democratic.
The 2004 United States Senate election in Alaska took place on November 2, 2004, alongside other elections to the United States Senate in other states as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives, various state and local elections, and the presidential election of that year. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Anchorage, sought election to her first full term after being appointed to serve out the rest of her father's unexpired term when he resigned in December 2002 to become Governor of Alaska. Her main challenger was Democratic former governor Tony Knowles, her father's predecessor as governor. Murkowski won by a slight margin.
The 1990 Alaska gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 1990, for the open seat of Governor of Alaska. In 1989, incumbent Governor Steve Cowper, a Democrat, had announced that he would not seek re-election for a second term.
The name of the highest mountain in North America became a subject of dispute in 1975, when the Alaska Legislature asked the U.S. federal government to officially change its name from "Mount McKinley" to "Denali". The mountain had been unofficially named Mount McKinley in 1896 by a gold prospector, and officially by the federal government of the United States in 1917 to commemorate William McKinley, who was President of the United States from 1897 until his assassination in 1901.
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Jane Arliss Sturgulewski is a retired businesswoman and Republican politician from the U.S. state of Alaska. In a political career in which she started appearing in the spotlight in 1975, she represented Anchorage in the Alaska Senate from 1979 to 1993. Twice during off-years in re-election to her four-year Senate term, she won the Republican nomination for governor of Alaska against mostly conservative opposition in blanket primaries. The second time, in 1990, she came out in third place behind Walter Hickel and runner up Tony Knowles, which was the second of three times in Alaska's history a major-party nominee placed third. She won a 2000 Anchorage Athena award.
Jerry Ward is an American politician and businessman.
George M. Sullivan
| Mayor of Anchorage |
| Governor of Alaska |
|Party political offices|
| Democratic nominee for Governor of Alaska |
1990, 1994, 1998
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Alaska |
| Democratic nominee for Governor of Alaska |