Group seeking Alaska governor recall sues over rejected application

Alaska governor Mike Dunleavy during a news conference on Sept. 26, 2019. A group seeking to recall Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is asking a judge to allow their effort to move forward. Attorneys for the Recall Dunleavy campaign, in court papers filed Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 say Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai wrongly refused to certify the recall application. (Mark Thiessen/AP Photo)
The group seeking to recall Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has sued over the rejection of its recall application.

Recall Dunleavy filed the lawsuit in Anchorage Superior Court on Tuesday against the state Division of Elections and its director, Gail Fenumiai.

Fenumiai relied on the advice of Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, who rejected each of the four grounds for recall listed on the application.

Recall Dunleavy lawyer Scott Kendall said in a statement that Clarkson’s position was expected.

“After all, he was one of Governor Dunleavy’s chief advisors as he took the radical and unacceptable actions that gave rise to the recall,” Kendall said. “Rather than provide the Division of Elections with independent counsel as he should, Clarkson took it on himself to essentially grade his own homework. It should come as no surprise he gave himself a passing grade.”

In this March 26, 2019, file photo, protesters unfurl a banner as Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a roadshow with Americans for Prosperity in 49th State Brewing Company in Anchorage, Alaska. A fight is brewing over whether Dunleavy, a Republican who took office in Dec. 2018, should be recalled. Critics say he’s incompetent and has recklessly tried to cut spending while supporters see a politically motivated attempt to undo the last election. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

The lawsuit said Fenumiai “unlawfully denied Recall Dunleavy and the citizens of Alaska the opportunity to exercise their constitutional and statutory right to recall public officials by refusing to certify the recall application” on Monday.

A Department of Law spokesperson said the department represents the Division of Elections and will review and respond in a timely fashion to the recall lawsuit.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Portfolios announced for cabinet ministers in Canada’s Northwest Territories, CBC News

Finland: Finnish Parliament debates Rinne govt’s first budget proposal, Yle News

Norway: Faced with Trump’s wavering support for NATO, Nordic nations stick together, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Donald Trump backs Alaska governor on Twitter amid recall effort, Alaska Public Media

Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Public Media & KTOO - Juneau

For more news from Alaska visit Alaska Public Media.

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