Mike Dunleavy will do what’s right for Alaska




Mike Dunleavy is hard-working, honest, intelligent, trustworthy and the man we need as Governor of Alaska.

I met Mike at a friend’s house in Kotzebue in the early-90s while serving on the regional school board of the Northwest Arctic School District. Mike had recently been hired as superintendent, and I was excited to meet the towering 6’7” man who I had high hopes would bring positive change to our school district (he didn’t disappoint).

I already knew his wife, Rose, and heard the story of how Mike drove from Koyuk to meet her in Noorvik, which greatly impressed me, as that’s no simple task.

My initial impression of Mike was that he’s not a guy who beats around the bush. He’s a straight shooter who tells it like it is – a trait that might not serve him well as a politician. Nonetheless, it’s why I know that when he says he’ll do something, such as protect the PFD, I believe him because that’s who he is – a man of his word.

Right off the bat as the new superintendent, it was clear Mike was a hard worker. He was always in the office working late into the night when everyone else had gone home and the first one there in the morning before anyone else had shown up. He always made sure he got the job done and done right, leading by example.

You won’t find a stronger or more informed advocate for public education, or someone who understands the different challenges faced by both urban and rural students, parents and educators. He’s done it all as a teacher, principal and superintendent, with experience in both environments.

That’s why I know when his opponent tries to hurt his reputation with wild accusations that he will be bad for rural schools – I know there’s no truth to it. He understands the problems kids face in Noorvik under a completely different set of circumstances than Anchorage, and he knows that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t make sense for every student.

He and I have worked together for years trying to give kids in rural Alaska more options. And so, I know first-hand his advocacy for making sure kids in rural Alaska have access to the same educational opportunities as kids in urban Alaska.

Mike is someone who understands – truly understands – what it’s like for folks living in rural Alaska because he lived there for almost 20 years. His family is from rural Alaska and he’s lived in a village of 600 people. In rural Alaska, they tend to judge strangers right away. If you don’t personify trust and prove that you’re a genuine person, they won’t like you, and people loved Mike. He treated everyone with kindness and respect and adapted to the new lifestyle; people accepted him. During his time in Kotzebue, he also earned a reputation of being a strong family man; he and Rose have done an outstanding job raising their three daughters, Maggie, Catherine, and Ceil.

We need Mike Dunleavy in there as governor to fight for what’s right. He’s the only guy running for governor who understands and lived through the problems we face every day. To me, it comes down to a choice between a career politician and Mike – a genuine person who tells the truth. I choose Mike.

Kenny Gallahorn, born and raised in Kotzebue, is a registered undeclared voter and served on the Northwest Arctic Borough School Board during Mike Dunleavy’s tenure as Superintendent of the Northwest Arctic Borough School District. Gallahorn also later served on the State Board of Education.


  1. Mike was a teacher. Yet the NEA teachers’ union doesn’t support him. NEA supports Walker who supports Begich.

    Mike has lived in the Bush, and married a Native woman. Yet AFN and most Native corps don’t support him.

    Welcome to Alaska where only the R or D letters matter. Your own will stab you in the back if you don’t have the “correct” letter next to your name. Pretty stupid on the part of NEA and Natives.

    • Yep! What does that tell ya? It tells me that the unions back the person that they can manipulate the most to give them a handout and higher salaries. AFN supports whoever pumps the most social programs into the villages. Gimme Gimme Gimme. I didn’t listen to the debate tonight but caught one snippet. It was a question about AK being at the bottom of 4th graders knowing how to read. Dunleavy, as an educator, gave a solution on how to address the problem to increase children’s reading skills. Begich, on the other hand, didn’t even mention children at all, he went straight to tapping the PFD to forward fund education, increase teachers salaries, and hire more teachers! Didn’t even mention actually addressing the question of children leaving 4th grade not knowing how to frigging read!

    • maybe there’s a reason they don’t support him: because his actions are harmful to them. but cognitive dissonance is too much for you so you consider every other possibility instead.

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