Incoming Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy ponders leadership qualities of past governors
This Sunday’s Frontiers program features an interview with Mike Dunleavy, who will be sworn in as Alaska’s next governor at noon on Dec. 3. The ceremony will take place north of the Arctic Circle in the Inupiat community of Noorvik, hometown to Dunleavy’s wife, Rose.
KTVA’s Rhonda McBride sat down with the Dunleavys this week at the Windbreak Café in Wasilla, a place where the cooking is down-home and where Dunleavy says some of his campaign strategies were hatched.
McBride asked Dunleavy about the portrait gallery on the third floor of the State Capitol in Juneau — right outside the entrance to the governor’s office, where Dunleavy will soon have a regular opportunity to reflect on the contributions of past governors.
The following is an excerpt from the interview, edited for length:
Rhonda McBride: Who would you like to model your administration after?
Mike Dunleavy: I've thought about that. I'll take pieces from a whole bunch of Governors — so Jay Hammond, under his administration, he employed the people of Alaska to put forth a Permanent Fund, tried to put a curb on spending way back then.
You look at Governor Sean Parnell, I think he was a class act as a governor.
He tried to get more investment in the state of Alaska, tried to grow jobs in the state of Alaska. He was very serious about curbing violence against women.
I think there's something you could probably find from every governor. I mean, Bill Walker's attempt at monetizing our gas will be looked back on as a pivotal point in Alaska's history.
Tony Knowles was known as having a very good administration. Frank Murkowski was known as a resource governor.
Sarah Palin was known as bringing the people along with her.
Hammond, Sean Parnell — I think they resonate for me.
Rhonda McBride: Did you ever stand there outside the governor's office and kind of look at all the past governors?
Mike Dunleavy: Sure, when you're waiting outside the governor's office for appointment, that's what you do, you look at the pictures. I give them all credit, all due respect, they all served and their families served. Each one is like putting a brick in a wall. They helped build Alaska.
Rhonda McBride: One of the questions I've always put to past governors, is, if you were to have a label, what would it be? Bill Walker, when he became governor, I asked him, what do you want to be known as? Bill Walker said, “Bill the Builder.”
Mike Dunleavy: I want to be Mike, the guy who said he was going to do what he said he was going to do in the campaign. I want to be the guy that is no different than when I campaigned, no different before I campaigned. I've only been in politics about 8 or 9 years. I' m the same guy I was 25 years ago — the same guy I was eight years ago, the same guy I was two months ago. I'm going to be the same guy I am four years from now.
More of this interview Mike Dunleavy and his wife, Rose, will air on Frontiers with Rhonda McBride on Sunday, Nov. 18 on KTVA Channel 11 at 5:00 p.m. Frontiers also airs on Sundays on GCI Cable Channel 907 in two-time slots – 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.
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