Knowles talks to top Democrats in Washington, D.C.

Posted: Thursday, May 08, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) Former Gov. Tony Knowles made a quiet visit to Washington this week where he was spotted in the halls of the Senate.

Knowles met with some top Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., their spokespersons confirmed.

Daschle's spokesperson, Jay Carson, said he didn't know what Knowles and the minority leader discussed in their meeting Tuesday, but Daschle told Alaska reporters last month that he was encouraging Knowles to enter the race.

Knowles, a Democrat, reached the end of the two-term limit and left office in December, when former U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski was sworn in.

If he does decide to run for senator, he would be trying for the seat Murkowski gave up to be governor. To complete the Knowles-Murkowski office swap, he would have to beat Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was appointed by her father to fill the remaining two years of his Senate term, assuming she wins the Republican primary.

Knowles has never publicly said that he plans to run for senator. The closest thing to evidence came in March, when his former aides announced the publication of a Knowles Accomplishment Book.'' The 52-page book, financed by companies in the oil industry, touted the progress Knowles and former Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer say they achieved during their eight years in office.

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