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Alaska court allows recall group to begin next phase

JUNEAU, Alaska - The Alaska Supreme Court has agreed to allow a group seeking to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy to begin a second signature-gathering phase.

Last month, Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth put on hold a decision that would have allowed the Recall Dunleavy group to move to that next phase. In issuing the stay, Aarseth agreed with arguments made by the recall opposition group Stand Tall With Mike, which argued that voter confusion could arise if the signature-gathering began and the high court subsequently invalidated part of the recall application.

But the order from the Supreme Court Friday said Aarseth “did not expressly consider the harm to Recall Dunleavy resulting from a stay.“

The order directs the state Division of Elections to prepare petition booklets “forthwith.“

Claire Pywell, who manages the Recall Dunleavy campaign, said the group was grateful for the decision. The group will need to gather 71,252 signatures in seeking to force a recall election.

Dunleavy took office in late 2018, and prompted public outcry by proposing deep budget cuts. That anger helped fuel the recall effort.
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