Pierce's running mate drops out, endorses Dunleavy

Republican lieutenant governor candidate Edie Grunwald is withdrawing from the Nov. 8 election after her running mate, former Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce, was sued over allegations he sexually harassed a former borough employee.

Grunwald encouraged Alaskans to vote for fellow Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy. She said "recent circumstances" surrounding Pierce had led her to make the decision to step aside.

"I support and advocate for the respectful treatment of women in politics, the workplace and the world in general," Grunwald said in a prepared statement. "I believe my stepping down at this time is in the best interest of Alaskans and a demonstration of my support for all women, regardless of political affiliation."

In an email, Grunwald said that her stepping aside does not mean that she is calling on Pierce to withdraw.

"Absolutely not," she said. "That is his decision. He believes and pushes for liberty and has many accomplishments. This is all very unfortunate. My withdrawal is in no way a reflection of guilt or innocence. It was a difficult decision because people may think it is."

Pierce and Grunwald will remain on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election after the state's withdrawal deadline passed two months ago.


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