Juneau residents lined up outside of the Planet Alaska Gallery to sign an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy in August 2019. Signatures are again being collected. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Juneau residents lined up outside of the Planet Alaska Gallery to sign an application petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy in August 2019. Signatures are again being collected. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Governor recall campaign begins collecting signatures

Petition booklets are being distributed.

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2020 1:41pm
  • News

A campaign to recall Alaska’s governor has started with the distribution of petition booklets that will be used to collect signatures.

The Alaska Division of Elections delivered the booklets that organizers will use to try to gather the minimum of 71,252 signatures required to initiate an election to recall Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, KTOO-FM reported.

Organizers received the booklets Friday before mailing about 60 packages to supporters.

The recall group said Dunleavy, who took office in late 2018, violated the law by not appointing a judge within a required time frame, misused state funds for partisan online ads and mailers and improperly used his veto authority to “attack the judiciary.”

Dunleavy said campaigners want to remove him from office to keep him from implementing his agenda.

The recall organizers gathered 46,405 valid signatures over five weeks to apply for the recall. But the campaign must start over with a new signature drive to put the recall on the ballot.

The campaign has established 44 different locations statewide to gather signatures.

Campaign kickoff events are scheduled for the upcoming weekend in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.

The effort will also include roving signature gatherers, campaign manager Claire Pywell said.

“We want it to be easy, so when someone’s leaving the house, right, or they’re taking the kids to gymnastics or they’re going to the grocery store later, they can just go to the website and look up where they can reliably find a signature gatherer, and go and get it done,” Pywell said.

Recall organizers have said they want to hold the election as soon as possible.

The petition must be submitted before April 20 to guarantee a special election before the Aug. 18 primary.

The effort could be halted if the Alaska Supreme Court overrules a Superior Court decision allowing the petition to move forward. Arguments in the case are scheduled for March 25.

Grounds for recall in Alaska are lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties or corruption. The recall group is not alleging corruption.

• This is an Associated Press report.

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