Jul 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Recall campaign against Alaska governor can proceed, state court says

Michael Dunleavy, governor of Alaska, speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. on Thursday, July 16, 2020.
Gov. Michael Dunleavy speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House on July 16, 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Alaska's Supreme Court ruled Friday that the recall campaign to oust Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy is legal and may proceed, Reuters reports.

The big picture: The governor's political opponents, who are leading what they say is a bipartisan campaign, argue that Dunleavy has abused his power and is unfit for office.

  • Recall supporters cite allegations that Dunleavy illegally used his budget veto to punish judges for abortion-rights rulings and violated ethics laws by using state funds for partisan campaign purposes, per Reuters.
  • To qualify for a recall election on the Alaska ballot, campaigners must garner petition signatures totaling 10% of votes cast in the previous statewide election and, subsequently, get signatures totaling 25% of the votes cast, per Reuters.

What they're saying: The court said that voters will determine whether Dunleavy is fit for office.

  • "The people asked to sign petitions must decide whether the allegations are serious enough to warrant a recall election; each voter in the voting booth must decide whether the allegations are serious enough to warrant removal from office," the opinion said.

The other side: Dunleavy, who has about 17 months left in his term, said in a statement that decision will subject officials to "baseless, expensive, and distracting recall elections by their political opponents," per Reuters.

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