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Hollis French


Hollis French

Hollis French
Member of the Alaska Senate
from the J district
In office
January 15, 2013 – January 20, 2015
Preceded by Redistricted
Succeeded by Johnny Ellis
Member of the Alaska Senate
from the M district
In office
January 20, 2003 – January 15, 2013
Preceded by Rick Halford
Succeeded by Redistricted
Personal details
Born (1958-10-11) October 11, 1958
Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Peggy French
Alma mater University of Alaska,

Cornell University
Religion Episcopalianism

Hollis S. French II was a Democratic member of the Alaska Senate, serving since 2003. He was the Minority Leader from January 2014 until he left office that year. He authored an unsuccessful bill to strike down the state's same-sex marriage ban.[1]

He applied for a state judgeship position in July 2015.[2]

French is an attorney and he and his wife own and operate an apartment rental business.

Early life and education

French worked in the Kuparuk Oilfield as a facility and drill site operator for ARCO Alaska while attending the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in English. He attended Cornell Law School and graduated with a (Juris doctor).

Before being elected to the state Senate, French was an assistant district attorney.

French earned the ire of Alaska's veterans and military personnel when he was discovered to have falsely claimed to have been a US Marine. Though he did take a NROTC class in college, he never completed the grueling USMC boot camp or officer basic training courses to "earn" the title of US Marine. This earned him the nickname of "gunny" with many Alaskan military veterans, a derisive context that as he had simply "declared" himself to be a US Marine, he surely also promoted himself to the senior USMC rank of gunnery sergeant/ pay grade E-7. French never addressed the controversy nor apologized for making such a claim.

French has climbed Denali to the summit twice.[3] His father, Bob French, is a county commissioner in Summit County, Colorado.[4]


In 2008, French was appointed by the Legislative Council to head an investigation into charges that Gov. Sarah Palin "abused her office to get the Alaska public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, fired."[5]

2010 gubernatorial campaign

On July 1, 2009, French announced that he filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission to run for Governor of Alaska.[6] French, received 18,018 votes (38.81%), losing the 2010 Democratic primary to former state representative Ethan Berkowitz who received 22,607 votes (48.69%).

2014 gubernatorial campaign

French initially decided to run again for Governor of Alaska in 2014, but later decided to run instead for Lieutenant Governor of Alaska.[7] He was nominated as the Democratic party's lieutenant gubernatorial candidate.[8]

In September, Byron Mallott, the Democratic nominee for Governor, merged his campaign with independent candidate Bill Walker. Walker remained the gubernatorial candidate, with Mallott running for Lieutenant Governor as his running mate. Both French and Walker's original running mate, Craig Fleener, withdrew their candidacies.[9] The Walker-Mallot ticket defeated that of incumbent Republican Governor Sean Parnell.


  1. ^ Senator proposes striking same-sex marriage ban,Juneau Empire, Matt Woolbright, February 25, 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  2. ^ Hollis French applies for state superior court judge seat, KTUU television, Chris Klint, July 21, 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  3. ^ Hollis French for Senate campaign site
  4. ^
  5. ^ ABC News: 'October Surprise' Over Palin Investigation?
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links

  • State Senator Hollis French official Alaska State Legislature site
  • Profile at Project Vote Smart
  • Hollis French at 100 Years of Alaska's Legislature
Party political offices
Preceded by
Diane Benson
Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Alaska

Most recent
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