Sean Parnell

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Sean Parnell
Governor of Alaska
In office
July 26, 2009 - Present
Term ends
December 1, 2014
Years in position 6
PredecessorSarah Palin (R)
Base salary$125,000
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limits2 consecutive terms
Prior offices
Lieutenant Governor of Alaska
Alaska State Senate
1997 - 2001
Alaska House of Representatives
1993 - 1997
High schoolEast Anchorage High School (1980)
Bachelor'sPacific Lutheran University (1984)
J.D.University of Puget Sound Law School (1987)
Date of birthNovember 19, 1962
Place of birthHanford, California
Office website
Campaign website
Sean R. Parnell (b. November 19, 1962, Hanford, California) is the current Republican Governor of Alaska. Parnell, formerly the Lieutenant Governor, succeeded Sarah Palin (R) following her resignation in July 2009. Parnell ran for and won election to a full term as governor on November 2, 2010, easily defeating former state Rep. Ethan A. Berkowitz (D).[1]

Parnell is eligible for re-election in 2014. After first considering a congressional bid, he announced on May 3, 2013 his intention to run for another term as governor.[2][3]

Parnell practice law for 13 years in the private sector prior to running for office. He was first elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1992. He served in the body until 1996, when he won election to the Alaska State Senate, serving through 2000.[4] Running for Congress in 2008, Parnell narrowly lost the Republican primary to Don Young by 304 votes.[5]


Parnell is a native of Hanford, California but his family relocated to Alaska in 1973, when Parnell was 10 years old. His parents decided to move to the state after his father had been stationed at Fort Richardson. His father, Kevin, ran against legendary Alaska politician Don Young as a Democrat in 1980. That same year, Parnell graduated from East Anchorage High School. An attorney by training, he attended Pacific Lutheran University (B.B.A. 1984) and University of Puget Sound School of Law (J.D. 1987). He is admitted to the bar in both Alaska and Washington, D.C.

Parnell spent time working with Conoco Phillips Alaska after leaving the state legislature. In 2005, he moved to lobbying firm Patton Boggs, where he specialized in state and federal regulation of energy industries. At the end of 2006, Parnell took a job with Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas, which he left upon his election as lieutenant governor.

He was acting as an adviser to then-Governor Murkowski on Alaska's North Slope when he entered and won the lieutenant gubernatorial primary in 2006.


  • East Anchorage High School
  • B.B.A Pacific Lutheran University (1984)
  • J.D. Puget Sound School of Law (1987)

Political career

Governor of Alaska (2009-present)

Upon Sarah Palin's resignation from the governorship in 2009, Parnell, as lt. governor, assumed the role of Alaska's chief executive official. He is Alaska's 10th governor and successfully sought election to a full term of office in 2010.[1]


Oil production tax reform

In March 2013, the Finance Committee of the Republican-controlled Alaska State Senate presented an updated version of a bill by Parnell to remove the progressive tax system on oil production for the purpose of increasing stability, encouraging new development and simplifying international trade.[6]. Parnell's original plan called for oil producers to be taxed at a flat base rate of 25 percent. The Finance committee then drafted a version of Senate Bill 21 prescribing a rate of 30 percent, five percent less than an earlier proposal by the Resources Committee, but five percent more than Parnell's intial proposal. The bill would also give a $5 credit for each barrel of oil produced, as well as maintain the 20 percent tax break--current as of March 12, 2013--for new oil development known as a gross revenue exclusion. However, the exclusion would also apply to new oil from already-developed "legacy" fields.[7][8]

Democrats argued that the Parnell plan would not necessarily bring increased production, and that tax breaks should come after new investment. Bill Wielechowski said that the bill represented a "giveaway" to existing producers such as BP, Exxon, and ConocoPhillips. Industry figures had mixed opinions of the first two versions of the bill, praising the flat system, but not a base tax increase and a plan to limit the gross revenue exclusion to new fields. Legislative consultant Janak Meyer said that the Finance version would increase the state's competitiveness.[8] Democratic responses to Parnell's plan, including Senate Bill 50 and House Bill 111 had not received committee hearings one month after introduction.[9]

Lieutenant Governor (2006-2009)

Parnell took office as Lieutenant Governor in 2006 with Governor Sarah Palin.

Alaska State Legislature (1992-2000)

In 1992 Parnell was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives. He served as a member of the House Finance Committee and chaired numerous budget subcommittees. He served in the House for two terms.

Parnell was elected to a seat in the Alaska State Senate in 1996, and served there through 2000. He served on and later co-chaired the Finance Committee as well as being a member of the Energy Council.[10][1]



See also: Alaska gubernatorial election, 2014

Parnell is running for re-election as Governor of Alaska in 2014.[2] The general election will take place November 4, 2014.


See also: Alaska gubernatorial election, 2010 and Gubernatorial elections, 2010


Parnell faced Ethan A. Berkowitz (D), William S. "Billy" Toien (L), and Donald R. Wright (Alaskan Independence) in the November 2 general election.[11]
2010 Alaska gubernatorial general election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Ethan A. Berkowitz 37.67%
     Republican Party Approveda Sean Parnell 59.06%
     American Independent Party Donald R. Wright 1.86%
     Libertarian Party William S. "Billy" Toien 1.05%
     Other write-in 0.35%
Total Votes 256,192


Parnell defeated five challengers in the August 24 primary, winning 49.49% of the vote. Bill Walker came in second with 33.95%.
2010 Race for Governor - Republican Primary[12]
Candidates Percentage
Gerald L. Heikes (R) 0.40%
Merica Hlatcu (R) 0.56%
Sam Little (R) 1.54%
Green check mark.jpg Sean Parnell (R) 49.49%
Ralph Samuels (R) 14.05%
Bill Walker (R) 33.95%
Total votes 88,423


On March 14, 2008, Parnell announced that he would take on embattled 18-term Congressman Don Young in the August 26 Republican primary. The race between them was extremely narrow. It took several weeks after the election before it became clear on September 18 that Young had won re-election by a margin of 304 votes.[13]

Parnell was endorsed by then-Gov. Palin[14] and the Club for Growth[15]

Campaign donors

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Sean Parnell's donors each year.[16] Click [show] for more information.


Parnell resides in Anchorage, Alaska with his wife, Sandy, and their two children, Grace and Rachel. [1]

Recent news

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Alaska Governor's Office "About the Governor" Accessed September 12, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 Anchorage Daily News, "Parnell says he'll seek re-election as governor," May 3, 2013
  3. Juneau Empire, "Treadwell: 'No interest' in primary against Parnell," December 4, 2012
  4. Project Vote Smart, "Governor Sean R. Parnell's Biography," accessed March 30, 2013
  5. The New York Times, "Congressman in Alaska Wins Primary in Extended Vote Count," September 18, 2008
  6. KTVA, "New Oil Tax Proposal Lowers Base Rate," March 12, 2013.
  7. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, "Consultant says Alaska oil tax proposal 'competitive,'" March 12, 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Associated Press, "Senate Finance Committee unveils oil tax rewrite," March 12, 2013.
  9. Anchorage Daily News, "Activist proposing initiative on oil taxes," March 12, 2013.
  10. Lieutenant Governor of Alaska Sean Parnell's Biography
  11. State of Alaska Division of Elections, "Unofficial results, statewide summary", updated November 30, 2010 at 15:27, accessed November 8, 2010, November 17, 2010, and December 20, 2010
  12. State of Alaska Division of Elections, “August 24, 2010 Primary Election Results, Governor”, August 24, 2010
  13. Lieutenant Governor of Alaska Announces Primary Run Against Young, By Josh Kraushaar - CBS News
  14. Fairbanks Daily News Miner"Washington Anti-Earmark Group Endorses Parnell" by R.A. Dillon, June 6, 2008, accessed Aug. 4, 2008
  15. Politico, "Club for Growth endorses challenger to Young", By Josh Kraushaar, June 6, 2008, accessed Aug. 4, 2008
  16. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
Sarah Palin (R)
Governor of Alaska
2009 - present
Succeeded by