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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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Alaska turns a corner

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Mike Dunleavy at noon on Monday becomes the 12th governor of Alaska since Statehood; Sen. Kevin Meyer becomes lieutenant governor.

Dunleavy was born May 5, 1961 to working class parents in Scranton, Penn. His father was a mailman and his mother was a secretary. He came to Alaska to work in a logging camp on Prince of Wales Island, taught school in the Arctic for nearly two decades, earned his master’s degree from University of Alaska Fairbanks, and became a member of the Alaska Senate on Jan. 15, 2013. He defeated Democrat Mark Begich on Nov. 6, 2018 and is sworn in as governor today, Dec. 3, 2018. He is married to Rose and has three daughters. The family has a ranch outside of Wasilla.

Dunleavy ran against Linda Menard for the Senate Seat E, representing Wasilla and won in in 2012 with over 57 percent of the vote. He also served on the Mat-Su School Board and was superintendent of schools in Kotzebue.

Kevin Meyer, was born May 9, 1956, in Beatrice, Neb. He will be sworn in as Alaska’s 17th lieutenant governor. Meyer earned his B.S. in business administration from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 1978, his M.P.A. from University of New Mexico, Albuquerque and his M.B.A. from Alaska Pacific University, in Anchorage. He has worked as a office property manager for ConocoPhillips for many years.

Meyer also served on the Anchorage Assembly from 1993 to 200, in the House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, and in the Alaska Senate from 2008 until today, when he becomes lieutenant governor. He is married to Marty and has two daughters.

FUN FACTS: While Sean Parnell was the 11th lieutenant governor, and the 10th governor of Alaska. But we’ve had 17 lieutenant governors since statehood.

Seven of those have come since 2009, if you include In the 10 years since 2009, including Parnell, who was lieutenant governor until becoming governor in July.

Most people will remember six of the lieutenant governors in that timespan — Craig Campbell, Mead Treadwell, Byron Mallott, Valerie Davidson and now Kevin Meyer. But there was also Joe Schmidt, Department of Corrections commissioner, who became LG for two weeks at the end of July, 2009, when Sean Parnell became governor.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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