Home About Chat Users Issues Party Candidates Polling Firms Media News Polls Calendar Key Races United States President Senate House Governors International

New User Account
"A historical political resource." 
Email: Password:

  Knowles, Tony
NameTony Knowles
Address333 W. Seventh Ave.
Anchorage, Alaska 99501, United States
Website [Link]
Born January 01, 1943 (78 years)
Last ModifedJason
Oct 22, 2007 10:45pm
Tags Army - Catholic - Christian - Straight -
InfoAnthony Carroll "Tony" Knowles

Tony Knowles is an American Democratic politician and businessman who served as Governor of Alaska from December 1994 to December 2002.

Knowles volunteered for the U.S. 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.

He earned a degree in economics from Yale University in 1968. There, he was a fraternity brother of George W. Bush, who graduated the same year and was also a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. 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 in Anchorage.

An avid fly fisherman, cross country skier, and (retired) marathon runner, Tony Knowles and his wife Susan currently reside in Anchorage. They have three children, Devon, Luke, and Sara.

After three terms on 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 the generally Republican state of Alaska, Knowles's victory was largely brought about by the extremely negative campaign strategy used by the Republican candidate Jim Campbell. In the election, Knowles received 41.1%, 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%. He did not run for reelection in 2002 due to a consecutive two-term limit.

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). His membership in the POC caused him later problems due to the anti-fishing industry stance taken by that organization.

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.

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 the 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, opponents attacked him as a weak leader who avoided taking a position on several key issues, as exemplified by the "Where's Tony?" campaign.

In 2004 he ran for the United States Senate, as the Democratic challenger to Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski. Knowles was at first thought likely to win by many, but he was narrowly defeated in the election.

On May 29, 2006, he announced his bid to return to the governor's office in 2006.

DateFirmApproveDisapproveDon't Know
07/13/2003-07/15/2003 Ivan Moore Research (D) 60.00% ( 0.0) 34.00% ( 0.0) 6.00% ( 0.0)

Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 10.00000 Average


  11/07/2006 AK Governor Lost 40.97% (-7.36%)
  08/22/2006 AK Governor - Open Primary Won 69.12% (+46.98%)
  11/02/2004 AK US Senate Lost 45.55% (-3.03%)
  08/24/2004 AK US Senate - All Party Primary Won 87.73% (+83.26%)
  11/03/1998 AK Governor Won 51.26% (+33.00%)
  08/25/1998 AK Governor- All Party Primary Won 35.57% (+12.58%)
  11/08/1994 AK Governor Won 41.09% (+0.25%)
  08/23/1994 AK Governor - Open Primary Won 38.38% (+11.25%)
  11/06/1990 AK Governor Lost 30.91% (-7.97%)
  08/28/1990 AK Governor - Open Primary Won 25.35% (+0.00%)
  10/02/1984 Anchorage Mayor Won 49.49% (+0.28%)
  10/27/1981 Anchorage Mayor Won 53.04% (+6.07%)
  10/06/1981 Anchorage Mayor - Primary Won 38.94% (+0.00%)
AK US President - D Caucus - Feb 05, 2008 D Barack Obama
DNC Party Chair - Feb 12, 2005 D Simon B. Rosenberg
AK US Senate - Nov 05, 1996 R Ted Stevens
US President National Vote - Nov 03, 1964 R Barry M. Goldwater