(The Center Square) – An Arizona group that sought to remove Gov. Doug Ducey from office over his COVID-19 mitigation strategies has called off their campaign. 

Accountable Arizona, the nonpartisan group behind the Recall Doug Ducey effort, announced that it would no longer collect signatures, risking their volunteers to infection. 

“COVID-19 is completely out of control in Arizona, and as a pro-public health group, we have tried to be as creative as possible in gathering signatures; however, Ducey’s willful fecklessness has made it impossible,” the group said in a statement. “Our organization is all volunteer and we do not feel comfortable continuing to send our volunteers out to collect signatures, especially when we are met with harassment from anti-maskers at every signing location we hold. 40% of the total COVID-19 cases in Arizona this year have come in the last five weeks alone, yet Gov. Ducey and Dr. Cara Christ continue to relax mitigation measures.” 

The organization said it had collected more than 150,000 signatures but raised less than $5,000. They estimate it would cost more than $1 million to recall Ducey. They needed 400,000 more signatures before Jan 16 to force a special election. 

The group said it would continue fighting to ensure Ducey’s time as governor would be the last political office he holds. 

“Accountable Arizona will continue our mission to hold Ducey accountable for his failures during COVID-19 and to make sure he never holds elected office in the state of Arizona again.”

While the effort was led by those who sought stronger COVID-19 mitigations, others who felt Ducey’s executive orders went too far also supported the measure. 

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar announced his support to recall the governor under Accountable Arizona. He also promoted an earlier recall effort that said Ducey had overstepped his constitutional authority when he issued a stay-at-home order.

This article was initially published at TheCenterSquare

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