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Alaska governor recall lacks signatures nearly 2 years in

Elstun W. Lauesen holds a sign encouraging the recall of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy at a rally Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A group opposed to Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has yet to gather enough signatures to force a recall election, nearly two years after launching and just over a year before the 2022 primary.

Meda DeWitt, chair of the Recall Dunleavy effort, said the group was slowed by the pandemic last year and continues gathering signatures. She said group leaders are expected to meet soon, though she declined to say when, and said an update would be released then.

The last update on the group’s website is dated April 26 and showed 57,897 signatures had been collected. DeWitt said the group is going through an auditing process to “make sure we know what we have, very specifically,” with 71,252 signatures needed to qualify for a recall election.

The recall effort was ignited in 2019 by public outrage over cuts proposed by Dunleavy, a Republican, during his first year in office. He has not yet said whether he will seek re-election.

Cynthia Henry, chair of the pro-Dunleavy group Keep Dunleavy, said she thinks the recall effort is politically motivated.

If there is a recall election, “we will be well-positioned to run a campaign to keep the governor in his office,” she said.

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