The state Senate majority leader believes he can challenge enough signatures to stop a recall against him.
The four Senate Republicans targeted by recalls have until the end of the day to file challenges against the petitions. Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says he plans to dispute more than 3,000 signatures, which he believes is enough to stop a recall.
Just under 17,000 signatures are needed to trigger an election against the senator. Organizers of the effort say they turned in over 20,600 signatures, but Fitzgerald says his campaign’s review shows those numbers were not even close to accurate.
The Juneau Republican says he believes even more signature challenges could be uncovered, if his campaign had more time.
Organizers of the recall against Fitzgerald say they turned in enough valid signatures to trigger an election.
Despite his certainty about “bogus” signatures, Fitzgerald admits some of the challenges may not go through with the Government Accountability Board. He says leniency seen in past recalls, and even during the review of normal nomination papers, leaves him “not optimistic that they’re going to see it exactly the way we see it.”
Fitzgerald also plans to raise arguments that new legislative district maps should have been applied to the recall effort and revisit an earlier claim that organizers had an extra day to collect signatures.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:07)