Mike Dunleavy (politician)

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Mike Dunleavy
Mike Dunleavy official photo.jpg
14th Governor of Alaska
Assumed office
December 3, 2018
LieutenantKevin Meyer
Preceded byBill Walker
Member of the Alaska Senate
from the E district
D district (2013–2015)
In office
January 15, 2013 – January 15, 2018
Preceded byRedistricted
Succeeded byMike Shower
Personal details
Michael James Dunleavy

(1961-05-05) May 5, 1961 (age 58)
Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (1984–present)
Spouse(s)Rose Newlin
ResidenceGovernor's Mansion
EducationMisericordia University (B.A.)
University of Alaska Fairbanks (M.E.d.)

Michael James Dunleavy (born May 5, 1961) is an American politician who is the 12th governor of Alaska, serving since December 3, 2018. A Republican, Dunleavy was a member of the Alaska Senate from 2013 to 2018. He defeated former Democratic United States Senator Mark Begich in the 2018 gubernatorial election after Bill Walker dropped out.

Early life and education[edit]

Dunleavy is from Scranton, Pennsylvania. He completed a bachelor's degree in history at Misericordia University in 1983.[1] He earned his master's degree in education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.[2] He moved to Alaska in 1983 and pursued a career as a teacher, school principal and school district superintendent. Prior to his election to the Alaska Senate, Dunleavy served on the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Board, including two years as the board's president.

Local elections[edit]

Dunleavy challenged incumbent State Senator Linda Menard (redistricted from District G) for the District D August 28, 2012 Republican Primary and won with 2,802 votes (57.42%).[3] He was unopposed in the November 6 general election and won with 11,724 votes (94.24%) against write-in candidates.[4]

Governor of Alaska[edit]


In 2017 Dunleavy announced he would run for governor in 2018, but abandoned the race in September 2017, citing heart problems.[5] In December 2017 he announced his return to the race.[6] He resigned his senate seat effective January 15, 2018, to focus on his campaign.[7] Retired United States Air Force Lt. Colonel Mike Shower was chosen as his successor by Governor Bill Walker and confirmed by the Alaska Senate caucus after numerous replacement candidates were rejected.[8]


Dunleavy and Kevin Meyer were the Republican nominees for governor and lieutenant governor of Alaska, respectively, and were elected in the November 2018 general election. Dunleavy was the first governor elected in 2018 to be sworn in, on December 3, 2018. He appointed Kevin Clarkson to be Alaska Attorney General.[9]

Recall attempt[edit]

On June 28, 2019, Dunleavy exercised line-item veto authority as governor to make cuts of $433 million, including a cut of $130 million (41%) of state contributions to the University of Alaska.[10] The same day, he also vetoed $335,000 from the budget of the Alaska Supreme Court, saying it was a punitive measure because the Court had upheld the constitutionality of abortions.[11] On July 15, 2019, an effort to recall Dunleavy began after major public backlash over his cuts to public assistance, education and the University of Alaska. Alaska state law requires recalls be sponsored by three primary recall committee members. The Dunleavy recall committee is led by Joseph Usibelli, chairman of Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc.; Arliss Sturgulewski, former Republican Alaska state senator from Anchorage; and Victor Fischer, the last surviving delegate to the Alaska state constitutional convention. A petition to acquire signatures for the recall began on August 1 in several locations across the state.[12] In order to be certified by the Division of Elections, this petition must have 28,500 signatures, equivalent to about 10% of the voting population in Alaska's last general election.[13] As of August 10 the campaign claimed to have reached 18,000 signatures.[14]

Electoral history[edit]

Republican primary results[15]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Dunleavy 43,802 61.5
Republican Mead Treadwell 22,780 32.0
Republican Michael Sheldon 1,640 2.3
Republican Merica Hlatcu 1,064 1.5
Republican Thomas Gordon 884 1.4
Republican Gerald Heikes 499 0.7
Republican Darin Colbry 416 0.6
Total votes 71,195 100.0
2018 Alaska gubernatorial election[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Dunleavy 145,631 51.44% +5.56%
Democratic Mark Begich 125,739 44.41% N/A
Independent Bill Walker (inc.) (withdrawn) 5,757 2.03% -46.07%
Libertarian William Toien 5,402 1.91% -1.30%
n/a Write-ins 605 0.21% -0.11%
Total votes 283,134 100.0% N/A
Republican gain from Independent


  1. ^ Hiller, Mark (November 9, 2018). "Alaska Governor-Elect is NEPA native". Pahomepage.com. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  2. ^ "Senator Mike Dunleavy's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  3. ^ "State of Alaska 2012 Primary Election August 28, 2012 Official Results". Juneau, Alaska: State of Alaska Division of Elections. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  4. ^ "State of Alaska 2012 General Election November 6, 2012 Official Results". Juneau, Alaska: State of Alaska Division of Elections. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  5. ^ Dunleavy suspends campaign for Alaska governor as Huggins files to run, Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, September 12, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  6. ^ Denleavy back in race for governor, Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, December 22, 2017.
  7. ^ State senator Mike Dunleavy resigns from Legislature to boost gubernatorial run, Juneau Empire, James Brooks, January 9, 2018.
  8. ^ Mike Shower confirmed to Dunleavy Senate seat, Alaska Public Media, Phillip Manning, February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "Dunleavy attorney general appointee Kevin Clarkson is lawyer with ties to religious-liberty causes". Anchorage Daily News. December 5, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  10. ^ "University of Alaska president: Dunleavy veto is unprecedented and 'devastating'". Anchorage Daily News. June 28, 2019. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  11. ^ Herz, Nathaniel; Anchorage, Alaska's Energy Desk (June 29, 2019). "Alaska Gov. Dunleavy wields veto pen to attack state Supreme Court over abortion ruling". Alaska Public Media. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  12. ^ Kesslen, Ben (August 1, 2019). "'Alaskans to Recall Mike Dunleavy' make final preparations to gather signatures statewide". KTUU Channel 2 News. KTUU. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  13. ^ Minemyer, Derek (August 12, 2019). "Alaskans mount effort to recall governor as huge budget cuts threaten education, Medicaid". nbcnews.com. NBC News. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  14. ^ staff report (August 12, 2019). "Dunleavy recall group announces 18,000 signatures as effort continues". newsminer.com. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  15. ^ Election results
  16. ^ http://www.elections.alaska.gov/results/18GENR/data/results18.pdf

External links[edit]

Party political offices
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Sean Parnell
Republican nominee for Governor of Alaska
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Bill Walker
Governor of Alaska
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Mike Pence
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Otherwise Nancy Pelosi
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