Fritz Pettyjohn is the founder and author of the Reagan Project. A sketch from Fritz:
I started in politics knocking on doors for Barry Goldwater in 1964. In 1965 I started the Tom Collins chapter of Young Americans for Freedom at Diablo Valley College. In 1966 I was the chairman of the UC Berkeley Young Republicans. At UCLA Law School I ran for President of the Student Bar Association, promising to abolish the Association if elected. I got a quarter of the vote.
In 1976, in Alaska, I was District 9 chairman of Reagan for President. I was named state chairman in 1979. In 1980 I was hired as deputy campaign manager by the Murkowski for Senate campaign. I was elected to the State Senate in 1982. After Governor Sheffield gerrymandered me out of my Senate seat, I was elected to the State House three times, serving as House Minority Leader. I initiated an impeachment effort against Sheffield. By the time he ran for reelection in 1986 he was unable to even win the Democratic nomination.
In 1988 I was chairman of Alaskans for Judicial Reform, organized for the purpose of defeating Justice Jay Rabinowitz of the Alaska Supreme Court in his retention election. He was, in my opinion, responsible for the court decision which opened the way for Sheffield to gerrymander me out of my Senate seat. We publicized some of the unsavory aspects of Rabinowitz’ career on the bench, causing him extreme discomfort and damaging his reputation.
In 1991 I retired from the legislature and began writing a biweekly political column for the Anchorage Daily News. Later I also became a radio talk show host on KENI Anchorage. When my wife and I moved to Alaska in 1974 it was with the intention of running for Congress. After I was elected to the State Senate in 1982 I considered myself ready to run. I waited 19 years for an opening, but Senators Murkowski and Stevens, and Representative Young, all Republicans, continued running for reelection. By 2001 I was 56, and, with a vacancy not in sight, my wife and I left Alaska and moved back to California (it’s cold up there). For the last twelve years, as my country disintegrated around me, I’ve been watching baseball. Needless to say, I’m a big advocate of term limits for members of Congress.
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- 1945: Born, Berkeley, CA 1962: H.S.D., St. Mary’s High, Berkeley, CA
- 1964: Volunteer, Goldwater for President
- 1967: B.A., Political Science, UC Berkeley; Chairman, UC Berkeley Republicans
- 1971: Marriage to Patricia Hawksley of Piedmont, CA 1974: J.D., UCLA Law
- 1974 – present: Member, Alaska Bar Association
- 1976: District 9 Chairman, Reagan for President
- 1979 – 1980: Chairman, Reagan for President, Alaska
- 1983 – 1985: Member, Alaska State Senate
- 1984: Voted in favor of Lew Uhler’s Article V proposal for a balanced budget amendment
- 1985 – 1991: Member, Alaska State House; House Minority Leader
- 1988: Author and sponsor of an Article V Resolution calling for term limits for Congress
- 1988: Chairman, Alaskans for Judicial Reform, organized to remove Justice Jay Rabinowitz from the Alaska Supreme Court
- 1992 – 1996: Political Columnist, Anchorage Daily News
- 1993 – 1999: Host, Radio talk show, KENI Anchorage
- 2001 – 2013: Move to Standard, CA; watch baseball
- 2013 – ?: The Reagan Project
- Married 47 years, three sons, two granddaughters, and two grandsons