- Tony Knowles (politician)
name= Tony Knowles
office= Governor of Alaska
December 5, 1994
December 2, 2002
Walter J. Hickel
birth_date= birth date and age |1943|01|01
spouse= Susan Knowles
Anthony Carroll Knowles (born
January 1 1943in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American Democratic politician and businessman who served as Governor of Alaskafrom December 1994 to December 2002. Barred from seeking a third consecutive term as governor in 2002, he ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2004 and again for governor in 2006.
Knowles volunteered for the
United States Armyin 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 a mountain named to honor POW/MIAs.Fact|date=September 2008
He earned a degree in
economicsfrom Yale Universityin 1968. There, he was a Delta Kappa Epsilonfraternity 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.
fly fisherman, cross country skier, and (retired) marathon runner, Tony Knowles and his wife Susan currently reside in Anchorage, Alaska. They have three children, Devon, Luke, and Sara.
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 Steve McAlpinein the Democratic primary and was elected governor in the general election. In a new state that had mostly elected Democratic governors, his election was surprisingly close. However, Knowles 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 Coghillof the Alaskan Independence Party13%.
Knowles won the 1998 election in a landslide, defeating Republican
John Lindauer51%-18%. Knowles 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.Fact|date=September 2008 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.
Knowles was chair of the
Western Governors' Associationin 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 provided basic health care for 25,000 children and 5,000 pregnant women. The National Child Welfare Leaguenamed Knowles as their Child Advocate of the Year in 1998.Fact|date=September 2008
A strong supporter of the Alaska National Guard, Knowles was recipient of the Guard's
Pro Patria awardand the 2001 Charles Dick Silver Medal of Merit.Fact|date=September 2008
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 Indiansin 2001 and the Alaska Federation of Natives Denali Award, the highest award given to a non-native.Fact|date=September 2008
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 Legislatureattacked 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.Fact|date=September 2008
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
partial-birth abortions. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9400EEDF1630F931A35756C0A961958260 nyt.com | Bills to Curb Abortions Are Vetoed in Alaska] ]
May 29, 2006, he announced his bid to return to the governor's office in 2006. [ [http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/7780076p-7693042c.html adn.com | alaska : Knowles to run for governor ] ] On August 22, 2006, Knowles defeated Eric Croftin 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.
*2006 race for Governor, general
Sarah Palin(R), 48%
**Tony Knowles (D), 41%
Andrew Halcro(I), 9%
*2006 race for Governor, primary
**Tony Knowles (D), 69%
Eric Croft(D), 22%
*2004 race for U.S. Senate
Lisa Murkowski(R) (inc.), 49%
**Tony Knowles (D), 46%
*1998 race for Governor
**Tony Knowles (D) (inc.), 51%
**Robin Taylor (R), 20% "(write-in)"
John Howard Lindauer(R), 18%
*1994 race for Governor
**Tony Knowles (D), 41%
**Jim Campbell (R), 41%
Jack Coghill(AIP), 13%
*1990 race for Governor
Walter Hickel(AIP), 39%
**Tony Knowles (D), 31%
Arliss Sturgulewski(R), 27%
* [http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/7780076p-7693042c.html "Knowles to run for governor"] by Matt Volz, Associated Press, May 29, 2006
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