Tony Knowles (politician)

Tony Knowles (politician)

Infobox Governor

name= Tony Knowles
order= 9th
office= Governor of Alaska
term_start= December 5, 1994
term_end= December 2, 2002
lieutenant= Fran Ulmer
predecessor= Walter J. Hickel
successor= Frank Murkowski
birth_date= birth date and age |1943|01|01
birth_place= Tulsa, Oklahoma
alma_mater=Yale University
spouse= Susan Knowles
profession= Businessman
party= Democratic

Anthony Carroll Knowles (born January 1 1943 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American Democratic politician and businessman who served as Governor of Alaska from 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.

Earlier life

Knowles 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 a mountain named to honor POW/MIAs.Fact|date=September 2008

He earned a degree in economics from Yale University in 1968. There, he was a Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity 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 Susan currently reside in Anchorage, Alaska. They have three children, Devon, Luke, and Sara.

Political career

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 McAlpine in 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 Coghill of the Alaskan Independence Party 13%.

Knowles won the 1998 election in a landslide, defeating Republican John Lindauer 51%-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' 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 provided 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.Fact|date=September 2008

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.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 Indians in 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 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.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. [ [ | Bills to Curb Abortions Are Vetoed in Alaska] ]

On May 29, 2006, he announced his bid to return to the governor's office in 2006. [ [ | alaska : Knowles to run for governor ] ] 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.

Electoral history

*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%



* [ "Knowles to run for governor"] by Matt Volz, Associated Press, May 29, 2006

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