Mike Dunleavy is the current Governer of Alaska, a position that he has held since December 2018. Before this he served for five years as a Republican member of the Alaskan Senate. Here are ten things about the Alaska Governor that you may not know.
1. His First Job In Alaska Was In A Logging Camp
He was born in Scranton, Pennslyvania and moved to Alaska when he was twenty two after completing his history degree at the University of Misericordia. At this point he did not really know what he wanted to do with his life but he thought that moving to Alaska would help him to figure this out. He considered Alaska to be somewhere that opportunities would open up for him. The first job that he got here was in a logging camp but he soon decided that he wanted to study for a masters degree.
2. He Attended The University Of Alaska Fairbanks
After he made the decision to study for a masters degree in education, he enrolled at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The School of Education is located at the main campus of the University and so he would have had a real chance to get involved in student activities while he was studying here. There are a number of other Alaskan politicians that have studied at this university including Mike Kelly, Joe Miller and Richard Foster
3. He Worked In The Education System For Many Years
After he graduated from university, he started working as a teacher in Alaska. He managed to work himself up through the system, becoming a principal and then superintendent of a school district. The whole of his teaching career has been spent in Alaska and he has worked in many different areas of the state throughout this time. Education is something that remains close to his heart, even though it is no longer his main focus in terms of employment.
4. He Still Works As An Educational Consultant
Just Facts lists his role as an educational consult as one that it still ongoing. He is not likely to have as much time to spend on his own business as he would have before he became governor. However, it is an indication of just how important education is to him. Keeping his business open also means that there is something for him to return to one day if he decides to move away from politics.
5. He Did Drop Out Of The Election For Governor For A While
He first announced his intention to run for governor in the early part of 2017. However, in September of this year he suspended his campaign as he had been experiencing heart problems. Although it was not a life-threatening condition, it was still something that required to him to rest and he felt he was unable to continue with the campaign at that time. In the statement that he made announcing the suspension, he said he would make a decision at a later date about whether he would continue. He did rejoin the campaign in December 2017. He also resigned from the Senate so he could concentrate on his election campaign.
6. He Received Some Backlash Over Cuts He Made To Public Services
One of his first acts as governor was to reduce the budget for public services, which meant that cuts needed to be made. These cuts particularly affected education and health services. Democrats were opposed to these cuts, but they were also joined by Republicans who also did not agree with the action that Dunleavy had taken. Residents of Alaska made an attempt to recall him as governor, although this was ultimately unsuccessful. The petition received enough signatures, but it was found that Dunleavy had not acted in a way that made him unfit for office.
7. He Is Married With Three Children
He is married and has three adult children who are all girls. His wife is Alaskan and his children were all raised in the state. As they were growing up they lived in both rural and urban areas of Alaska. Even though their children are now grown up, they still remain a close family. They love spending time outdoors and so they often go on family camping trips where they will take part in fishing and hunting. It is important to the whole family to make time where they can all be together.
8. He Had To Request A Disaster Declaration For Alaska During The Covid-19 Pandemic
Like many states during the Covid-19 pandemic, Alaska needed to request a Disaster Declaration from the President. According to the Alaska State website this was granted on 9th April 2020. The pandemic is an unprecedented time for not just the USA, but the whole world and this means that Dunleavy is having to deal with issues that no other governor ever has. It has affected every single aspect of people's lives and there have been difficult decisions to make.
9. He Is A Big Supporter Of Donald Trump
Dunleavy is a Republican and so he is supporting the President to win a second term. He also creates a lot of tweets and Instagram posts in support of Trump and has met him on several occasions during his first term in office. The two men seem to have a mutual respect for each other, as Trump has also tweeted in support of Dunleavy in the past. The Covid-19 pandemic has put many governors at odd with the President, but this does not seem to be the case in Alaska.
10. He Introduced A State Lottery To Alaska
The legislation to introduce a state lottery to Alaska was signed off by Dunleavy in February 2020. According to Yogo Net this has the potential to generate between $8 and $10 million in state funding every year. Alaska is currently one of only five states that do not have a lottery. There has been some disagreement about what other types of gambling should be allowed under the new legislation, but it seems very likely that the lottery will go ahead.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee