Lt. Gov. decides not to seek reelection; Dunleavy needs new running mate

Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer will not run for reelection in 2022, leaving Gov. Mike Dunleavy free to choose a new Republican running mate this year.

In an interview Dec. 28, Meyer did not rule out an eventual return to politics, but said he wants to take a break.

“It’d be nice to get to sleep in and spend more time with the family,” he said.

Dunleavy, who is running for reelection to a second term, said he expects Meyer will use his last year in office to focus on an election-reform bill the governor announced in late December.

Under the new election system approved by voters last year, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run on a single ticket from the start. In past elections, party voters chose each in separate primaries, with the two winners joining up as a ticket for the general election.

The new system still faces a legal challenge and will be heard in front of the Alaska Supreme Court on Jan. 18.

Meyer and a Dunleavy campaign spokesman said they do not know who the governor will pick as a replacement, but they did not expect an announcement in the near future. The deadline to enter the 2022 election is June 1.

Meyer filed a letter of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission in May, signaling that he would run for reelection, but there had been signs that he might exit the race. In August, when Dunleavy was asked whether Meyer would be his running mate in 2022, the governor responded, “As of now, yes.”

Before being elected lieutenant governor in 2018, Meyer served for a decade in the state Senate and eight years in the state House. Before joining the House, he was on the Anchorage Assembly.

“It’s just time,” Meyer said of his decision to leave public office. “I’m 65. Thirty years (in elected office) just seemed like a good break for me.”

The lieutenant governor has appeared increasingly out of step with Republican voters who questioned the veracity of the 2020 presidential election despite evidence that it took place with few issues.

Former President Donald Trump has raised accusations about the legitimacy of the 2020 election, which he lost. Trump has spread a debunked conspiracy theory that voting machines were altering ballots. His efforts to undermine the election results culminated in the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, when his supporters stormed the building and sought to disrupt Congress’ certification of the election.

In Alaska, the lieutenant governor oversees elections, and Meyer has consistently and repeatedly defended the conduct of the 2020 election.

“There’s just a lot of misinformation about the last election that I wish would go away, Meyer said, “because unfortunately, some people are actually believing that, no matter how hard I try to convince people that our elections in Alaska were fair and honest.”


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