Former AK Sen. Mike Gravel ends bid for presidency

Mike Gravel

Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, age 89, has called off his campaign for president.

The announcement came over Twitter, when his account wrote, “The DNC kept us off the stage tonight even though we qualified, but the #Gravelanche is not over. We’re gonna keep going. As the campaign ends, we’re going to help build institutions on the left which can grow power, shape policy, and create strong activists for the long haul.”

He said his campaign will donate all funds raised and unspent to form a “leftist” think take called the Gravel Institute. The institute will carry on his work of producing policy papers to steer the Democratic Party’s platform further left.

Campaign manager David Oks and chief strategist Henry Williams recruited Gravel to form an exploratory committee in March, and officially launch the campaign in April. Gravel said from the beginning that the reason he was running was to force candidates further left. He and his wife Whitney said they will announce their endorsements next week.

Gravel was the U.S. Senator for Alaska from 1969 to 1981. He ran for president in 2008.

[Read: Mike Gravel explores run for presidency]

This year, he didn’t make the debate stage in July for the Democratic Party, even though he had raised the required amount of money from individual donors. A tie-breaking rule knock him out of the prized spot:

Mike Gravel / Twitter


  1. “The reason he is running is to force candidates further left”. Good gawd…how much further left can they go? The Gravel Institute should be a hoot! A “think tank”? I “think” I’ll take a nap.

  2. Didn’t even know he had attempted to run, but, it’s too bad he didn’t make it, then Dems could use another lunatic up on the stage. Especially another old-white-guy lunatic.


      • Construction did not actually start until 1975. First pipe put in later that year. Gravel had little or nothing to do with the decision to build it. Mid East oil prices and increasing dependence on foreign oil were the motivators. When U.S. Senators and Representatives found they were personally affected by brown outs and electrical shut downs and found themselves in long lines at gas stations, they decided to issue the required permits to build the pipeline.
        Gravel’s claim to fame was the infamous release to the public of the Pentagon Papers. He was not considered to be an effective voice for Alaskans. Now he is just a joke and a it is sad way to serve out his remaining years.

        • All wrong. Construction began in May 1974. Green Construction started building the haul road… known as the Dalton Highway.

    • Put Gravel back in the Democrat debates. Have him read the old Pentagon papers. Might be worth tuning in for a good chucke.

  4. If you read Gravel’s testimony against ANILCA, he put Uncle Ted TO SHAME. He was actually talking like a conservative Republican. Perhaps his motives were to move Right because of the primary challenge by Clark Gruening, thus insincere. BUT — it was still the correct posture to assume. Read the essay at, “Was Alaskan Statehood a Fraud?” You would be amazed. Here’s an excerpt:

    In this, U.S. Senators Mike Gravel and Ted Stevens were at opposite purposes,
    and created a puzzling situation of which only the passage of time can provide a clearer
    view. Gravel, the liberal Democrat, was actually fighting against ANILCA, while
    Stevens, the purported conservative Republican, took a pass. Gravel, ever the
    unpredictable maverick, annoyed many senators with his quorum calls and amendments
    in an attempt to delay or prevent the bill. He assessed the impact of ANILCA in this way:
    “While we in Congress may be reading the provisions one way now, the
    language ambiguities and regulatory tools are all laid out in the bill …
    frankly, I am expecting the worst … the use of the massive conservation
    system designations to block any further exploration or development
    [including recreational] of these lands, and on non-federal adjacent lands. I
    see our state throttled down economically over the next decade … this
    legislation goes far beyond what is appropriate and proper for protection.
    It is a question of balance. This bill does not achieve that balance … I feel
    we are doing the State of Alaska a great injustice, and ultimately we are
    doing the nation a great injustice, by not permitting the resource
    contributions which Alaska lands could make in meeting the full spectrum
    of desire and demands of human existence.”

Comments are closed.