Pierce will stay in race for governor, despite sexual harassment lawsuit


November 2, 2022

Republican governor candidate Charlie Pierce confirmed on Oct. 26 that he will continue his campaign despite a lawsuit accusing him of sexually harassing a Kenai Peninsula Borough employee while he served as borough mayor.

“We’re in this race to the very end,” he said during a broadcast of KSRM-AM radio’s “Sound Off” program. Pierce, at 6.6% of the vote in the August primary, is far behind the other three candidates in the Nov. 8 general election for governor.

“I think the honorable thing to do is finish what you start, and that’s what I plan to do,” Pierce said.

Pierce told Soldotna radio station KDLL-FM a day earlier that he intended to remain in the race and used the Oct. 26 broadcast to expand on his reasons.

On Oct. 25, Pierce’s lieutenant governor candidate, Edie Grunwald, said she would suspend her campaign. “I feel strongly about supporting and advocating the respectful treatment of women in the workforce,” she said.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough has already paid more than $260,000 to settle two workplace complaints against Pierce. During the KSRM broadcast and in a separate radio interview on Oct. 26, he did not discuss the details of the latest complaint against him.

An official at the Alaska Division of Elections said Pierce will not be able to replace Grunwald before the election is certified. If Pierce wins and Grunwald refuses to serve as his lieutenant governor, state law allows Pierce to select a replacement at that time.

Pierce said campaign supporters continue to make calls to solicit votes and he will continue to attend campaign events, though he has attended a lot fewer events than any of the other candidates in the race.

The Alaska Beacon is an independent, donor-funded news organization. Alaskabeacon.com.


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