Incoming Gov. Steve Cowper, left, meets with outgoing Gov. Bill Sheffield, following Cowper's 1986 victory. Cowper beat Sheffield in the Democratic primary and defeated Republican Arliss Sturgulewski in the general election that year. Cowper did not run for re-election in 1990, when Alaskan Independence Party candidate Walter Hickel beat Sturgulewski and Democrat Tony Knowles.