Listicle: The history of prior recall attempts in Alaska - Must Read Alaska
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Listicle: The history of prior recall attempts in Alaska

The list of previous recalls that made it to the Division of Elections and Department of Law goes back to 1986. Most applications were denied.

Of the 21 attempts to recall, 10 were denied due to insufficient grounds, while five had application deficiencies and were denied on that basis. The others ended with various results, including elected officials who simply resigned.

Of those three recall attempts that ultimately went to the voters, all were for school board seats in the rural areas of the state, and all three subjects of the recalls were indeed recalled by voters, 173-67, 178-61, 174-64.

Details of Alaska’s recall history:

09/12/2014: John Atchak, Kashunamiut School District (REAA 22) Board member, Seat B. Following review by the Department of Law (9/30/2014), the Director of Elections denied the application due to a number of insufficiencies within the application.

11/06/2013: Representative Lindsey Holmes, House District 19. Following review by the Department of Law (12/16/2013), the Director of Elections denied the application due to insufficient grounds.

08/29/2011: Representative Kyle Johansen, House District 1. Following review by the Department of Law (10/10/2011) , the Director of Elections denied the application due to insufficient grounds.

04/15/2010: Jody J. Leisholmn, Annette Island School District (REAA 20) Board Member, Seat B. Following review by the Department of Law (6/7/2010), the Director of Elections denied the application due to insufficient grounds and multiple insufficiencies.

06/22/2007: Shelly Wilson, Chatham School District (REAA 18) Board Member, Section I, Seat A. The Director of Elections certified the application on 7/31/2007. The petition was certified by the Director on 9/13/2007 following verification of supplemental signatures filed by the recall committee on 9/6/2007. On 9/17/2007 the Lt. Governor called a special election to be held on 11/20/2007. The Election was certified on 12/6/2007. The voters approved the recall by a vote of (Yes 173) to (No 67).

06/22/2007: Edward Gamble Sr, Chatham School District (REAA 18) Board Member, Section I, Seat B. The Director of Elections certified the application on 7/31/2007. The petition was certified by the Director on 9/13/2007 following verification of supplemental signatures filed by the recall committee on 9/6/2007. On 9/17/2007 the Lt. Governor called a special election to be held on 11/20/2007. The Election was certified on 12/6/2007. The voters approved the recall by a vote of Yes (178) to (No 61).

06/22/2007: Irene Paul, Chatham School District (REAA 18) Board Member, Section I, Seat C. The Director of Elections certified the application on 7/31/2007. The petition was certified by the Director on 9/13/2007 following verification of supplemental signatures filed by the recall committee on 9/6/2007. On 9/17/2007 the Lt. Governor called a special election to be held on 11/20/2007. The Election was certified on 12/6/2007. The voters approved the recall by a vote of (Yes 174) to (No 64).

10/11/2005 & 12/14/2005: John Zabielski, Alaska Gateway School District (REAA 16) Board Member, Section II, Seat B. Following review by the Department of Law (1/17/2006), the Director of Elections denied the application due to insufficient grounds.

10/11/2005 & 12/14/2005: John Zabielski, Alaska Gateway School District (REAA 16) Board Member, Section II, Seat B. Following review by the Department of Law (1/17/2006), the Director of Elections denied the application due to insufficient grounds.

12/14/2005: Doug Hosken, Alaska Gateway School District (REAA 16) Board Member, Section II, Seat C. Following review by the Department of Law (1/17/2006), the Director of Elections denied the application due to insufficient grounds.

12/14/2005: Eric Hannon, Alaska Gateway School District (REAA 16) Board Member, Section II, Seat E. Following review by the Department of Law (1/17/2006), the Director of Elections denied the application due to insufficient grounds.

08/04/2005: Senator Ben Stevens, Senate District N. Following review by the Department of Law (9/7/2005), the Director of Elections denied the application due to insufficient grounds.

02/17/2004: Senator Scott Ogan, Senate District H. Following review by the Department of Law (4/8/2004) The Director of Elections certified the application on 4/9/2004. On 8/25/2004 Senator Ogan resigned from his senate seat. The Director of Elections certified the recall petition on 8/26/2004. However, due to the vacancy created on 8/25/2004 following the resignation of Senator Ogan, the recall effort was not completed.

08/07/1996: Pat Madros, Yukon-Loyukuk School District (REAA 12) Board Member. Following review by the Department of Law (9/25/1996), the Director of Elections denied the application due to a number of insufficiencies within the application.

12/31/1997: Nancy James, Yukon Flats School District (REAA #13) Board Member, Seat C. Following review by the Department of Law (2/25/1998), the Director of Elections denied the application due to a number of insufficiencies within the application.

06/29/1992 and 06/30/1992: Governor Walter Hickel and Lt. Governor Jack Coghill. Following the review by the Department of Law (8/24/1992), the Director of Elections certified the application on 8/26/1992 against the advice of outside counsel. Lawsuits were filed in the Juneau and Fairbanks Superior Court on 8/27/1992 and 9/25/1992. On 9/5/1992, the court instructed the director to cease petition activity. On 9/14/1993, the Fairbanks Superior Court determined that certain grounds for recall were legally sufficient and other grounds were not. The recall attempt was not completed.

03/13/1986: Kathleen Wright, Delta-Greely School (REAA 15) Board Member, Seat D. The Director of Elections certified the application on 3/27/1986. The petition was certified by the Director on 5/5/1986. An election was scheduled for July 15, 1986. However, the election was enjoined according to a lawsuit filed in the third judicial district in Anchorage.

03/13/1986: Cynthia McClain, Delta-Greely School (REAA 15) Board Member. The Director of Elections certified the application on 3/27/1986. The petition was denied by the Director on 5/5/1986 due to insufficient signatures.

03/13/1986: Doris Fales, Delta-Greely School (REAA 15) Board Member, Seat E. The Director of Elections certified the application on 3/27/1986. The petition was certified by the Director on 5/5/1986. An election was scheduled for 7/15/1986. However, the election was enjoined according to a lawsuit filed in the third judicial district in Anchorage.

03/13/1986: Jackie Fett, Delta-Greely School (REAA 15) Board Member, Seat F. The Director of Elections certified the application on 3/27/1986. The petition was certified by the Director on 5/5/1986. An election was scheduled for 7/15/1986. However, the election was enjoined according to a lawsuit filed in the third judicial district in Anchorage.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • This is missing the Anchorage School Board recall vote, which I believe was in 1992. Presuming that’s because the state wasn’t involved.

  • This is missing the Anchorage School Board recall vote, which I believe was in 1992. Presuming that’s because the state wasn’t involved.

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