Maria Dudzak, KRBD – Ketchikan
A Ketchikan lawmaker says he will “vigorously fight” an effort by fellow Republicans to recall him. In a statement Monday, state Representative Kyle Johansen said a recall attempt from within the District One GOP is an attempt to “thwart the will” of voters who last fall re-elected him.
After the election, Johansen had a falling out with the House GOP caucus and lost his position as the majority leader after he and Anchorage Representative Charisse Millett walked out over an organizational dispute.
The decision to try to recall Johansen was made during a meeting of house district one Republicans last week. Dick Coose, chair of the District One Republicans, says Johansen contacted the group at the beginning of the meeting to provide an update and answer questions. Coose says after speaking with Johansen, the group discussed the issue for about an hour.
During public meetings held in Ketchikan in November, Johansen told constituents he was confident he would be able to rejoin the caucus. Though Johansen remains outside the caucus, he was given a seat on the House Senate Affairs committee last week.
Coose says the District One Republicans on Nov. 26 sent a letter to Johansen requesting his resignation. He says the letter was not made public to give Johansen time to return to the caucus. When that did not happen, he says the group voted to work toward a recall. Coose says lack of trust was a major concern.
Coose says the District One Republicans are in the process of forming a recall committee. According to state rules, a recall application cannot be submitted until 120 days after the start of the legislative session.
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