Dennis Egan

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Dennis Egan
Dennis Egan 2012.jpg
Dennis Egan participating in Juneau's 4th of July parade in 2012.
Member of the Alaska Senate
from the Q district
B district (2009–2013)
P district (2013–2015)
In office
April 19, 2009 – January 15, 2019
Preceded byKim Elton
Succeeded byJesse Kiehl
Mayor of Juneau, Alaska
In office
February 13, 1995 – October 3, 2000
Preceded byByron Mallott
Succeeded bySally Smith
Personal details
Dennis William Egan

(1947-03-03) March 3, 1947 (age 72)
Juneau, Territory of Alaska
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Linda Egan (m. 1969)
ResidenceDouglas Island
ProfessionRadio personality
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army seal Army National Guard
Years of service1967—1974
Unit910th Engineer Company

Dennis William Egan (born March 3, 1947) was a Democratic member of the Alaska Senate. He represented Juneau since he was appointed in 2009 to succeed Kim Elton until January 15, 2019. He previously served as the Mayor of Juneau from February 13, 1995, to October 3, 2000, and was a member of the local assembly prior to that.[1]

Early life[edit]

Egan was born in Juneau, Territory of Alaska on March 3, 1947.[2] He is the son of Bill Egan, a politician active in Alaska Territory who would go on to service as the state's first and fourth governor, and Neva Egan, who served as First Lady of Alaska during her husband's time as governor.[3][4] He lived in Washington, D.C. while his father lobbied for full Alaskan statehood. At the age of eleven he appeared on I've Got a Secret when Alaska entered the Union in 1959.[5]

During high school and after broadcast engineer training, he worked at KINY in the 1960s. In 1967, Egan graduated from radio operation engineering school. He then served in the Alaska Army National Guard 910th Engineer Company from 1967-1974. He worked on the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System as an employee of Caterpillar Inc.. He later worked in various positions for the State of Alaska government. In 1980, he began to host Problem Corner, a Juneau-area call-in show on KINY. He would continue to host the show until January 2010. He also was the manager of Alaska-Juneau Communications, Inc., which owns the Juneau-area radio stations KINY and KSUP;[6] During his time in radio, he was the Alaska Broadcaster Association's Broadcaster of the Year in 1990, and selected for the association's Hall of Fame in 2001.[7]

Local politics[edit]

Dennis's first attempt at politics happened in the 1980s, when he ran a primary election bid for a seat in the Alaska House of Representatives; he lost to Bruce Botelho.[3]

On the suggestion of friends, Egan ran for the Assembly of the City and Borough of Juneau in 1989.[3] He won and served nearly two full three-year terms in the Assembly from October 3, 1989, to February 13, 1995.[1]

Egan was deputy mayor[3] of Juneau in 1995. He was appointed mayor when Byron Mallott resigned in order to become executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation; Mallott had believed he could do both jobs, but his plans drew criticism anyway, and he resigned as mayor.[8] Dennis Egan won reelection in 1995 and 1997.[1] The 1997 race was a landslide victory for Egan. His opponent, Cory Mann, was a "newcomer to politics", according to the Juneau Empire, and had not filed for election until October 2, five days before the vote was held.[9]

An effective mayor, Egan helped mediation efforts[3] to end an August 1997 Alaska Native Brotherhood boycott of the 51st Golden North Salmon Derby.[10] (1997 Golden North Salmon Derby Boycott). Bob Tkacz of the Anchorage Press had an unfavorable view of the Empire's support of the Derby and Egan's efforts to end the boycott.[11] In September 1997 Egan helped keep 200 United States Forest Service jobs from being moved from Juneau to Ketchikan.[3]

Egan declined to run for re-election in 2000. He was succeeded by Sally Smith who defeated former mayor Jamie Parsons by 220 votes.[12][13]

Alaska Senate[edit]

In April 2009, Kim Elton resigned his seat in the Alaska Senate to accept presidential appointment as Director of Alaska Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior.[14] Governor Sarah Palin chose to appoint Tim Grussendorf, Chief of Staff to Senator Lyman Hoffman, to the seat over State Representative Beth Kerttula who was the preferred choice of local Democratic Party.

In April 2009, Egan was appointed to the Alaska Senate by Governor Sarah Palin to replace Kim Elton, who resigned in March 2009.[15] Subsequently, the Democratic caucus in the Senate refused to confirm Grussendorf and subsequently two other Palin nominees. Egan was ultimately appointed as a compromise candidate and confirmed by the Senate Democrats with support from Beth Kerttula, Cathy Muñoz, Bruce Botelho and the Juneau Democrats.[16]

In the 2010 election, Egan ran against token write-in opposition, winning a full term with 96% of the vote.[17] In the 2014 general election, he defeated Republican Tom Williams, winning 72% of the vote.[18]


Egan joined the Republican-led Senate majority in the 28th Senate, from 2013 to 2014, earning the chairmanship of the Transportation Committee.[19] He continued to vote with Democrats on several major bills, including Governor Sean Parnell's oil tax initiative in 2013,[20] and was not invited to an organizational meeting for the majority caucus after the 2014 election. In the 29th Senate, which began in 2015, he was a member of the Democratic minority caucus.[21]

Electoral history[edit]

Juneau, Alaska, regular election, 1989 (District 1)[22]
Candidate Votes Percentage
Dennis Egan 3990 57.0%
Joe Geldhof 2095 29.9%
Lee Stoops 868 12.4%
Write-in 47 0.7%
Juneau, Alaska, regular election, 1992 (District 1)[23]
Dennis Egan 5193 62.7%
Sandy Harbanuk 3063 37.0%
Write-in 22 0.3%
Juneau, Alaska, regular election, 1995 (Mayor)[24]
Candidate Votes Percentage
Dennis Egan 5620 57.53%
Chuck Keen 2123 21.73%
Mark Farmer 1847 18.91%
Write-in 179 1.83%
Juneau, Alaska, regular election, 1997 (Mayor)[25]
Dennis Egan 5432 78.1%
Cory Mann 1392 20.0%
Write-in 129 1.9%


  1. ^ a b c CBJ Assembly members, 1970–present
  2. ^ Tower, Elizabeth (2003). Alaska's Homegrown Governor. Anchorage: Publication Consultants. p. 61. ISBN 1-888125-99-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Brown, Cindy (September 22, 1997). "Mayor's race: Political heir vs. novice". Juneau Empire. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Morrison, Eric (July 2, 2006). "Parade grand marshals paved the way". Juneau Empire. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  5. ^ Chandonnet, Fernand (November 19, 2000). "Mr. Mayor: Dennis Egan reflects on five years at the helm of Alaska's capital city". Juneau Empire. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
  6. ^ Plenda, Melanie (December 4, 2001). "Woman gets 45 days for forging Egan's name". Juneau Empire. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
  7. ^ Alaska Broadcasters Association
  8. ^ Germain, David (October 27, 1996). "Fund Manager Gives Away Cash: Rich or Poor, Alaskans Get Dividends". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
  9. ^ "Election spending varies for Tuesday candidates". Juneau Empire. October 3, 1997. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
  10. ^ Parmelee, Catherine. "More stores, ships as economy diversifies". Juneau Empire. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
  11. ^ Tkacz, Bob (August 27, 1997). "Picking Derby Winners: Ad promos and boosterism overshadow "The Voice of the Capital City"". Anchorage Press. Retrieved January 22, 2008.
  12. ^ Mayors of the City of Juneau: 1970 – present
  13. ^ Juneau, Alaska, regular election, 2000 results
  14. ^ Kornreich, Lauren (March 9, 2009). "Palin foe gets administration job". Political Ticker. CNN. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  15. ^ Cockerham, Sean (March 29, 2009). "Palin picks Grussendorf for Juneau Senate seat". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  16. ^ Forgeyat, Pat (April 20, 2009). "Egan wins Senate appointment: Compromise ends standoff between Palin, Democrats". Juneau Empire. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  17. ^ "State of Alaska 2010 General Election - November 2, 2010 - Official Results without US Senate Race" (PDF). State of Alaska Division of Elections. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  18. ^ "State of Alaska 2014 General Election - November 4, 2014 - Official Results without US Senate Race" (PDF). State of Alaska Division of Elections. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  19. ^ Klint, Chris (November 9, 2012). "Dennis Egan Become 1st Democrat to Join State Senate Majority". KTUU. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  20. ^ Miller, Mark (March 20, 2013). "Senate passes oil tax bill in tight vote". Juneau Empire. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  21. ^ Moritz, Katie (November 7, 2014). "Egan to caucus with minority". Juneau Empire. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  22. ^ Juneau, Alaska, regular election, 1989 results
  23. ^ Juneau, Alaska, regular election, 1992 results
  24. ^ Juneau, Alaska, regular election, 1995 results
  25. ^ Juneau, Alaska, regular election, 1997 results

External links[edit]