DULUTH — The grassroots organization behind an effort to recall the mayor of Two Harbors pulled its petition on Wednesday night after several members, in addition to city officials, were named in a lawsuit by the chair of the Lake County Republicans.

Timothy Jezierski and two anonymous residents referred to as Jane and John Doe challenged Resign or Recall's claim that the signatures would not be made public in the suit filed April 29 in Lake County District Court. Members of the recall initiative believed the signatures were confidential, according to organizer Uriah Hefter, but when it was called into question, they pulled the petition.

"It was a hard pill to swallow, but it was the right thing to do for the citizens of Two Harbors," he said.

The group still hopes to oust Mayor Chris Swanson, who in his second term has frustrated some residents with the overlap between his personal business and his political position. Two Harbors City Attorney Tim Costley recently returned an opinion that the mayor's online dealings, including his recently shuttered Twitter account, violate city policy and have been used for his personal gain.

Hefter said Resign or Recall plans to host another signature drive, canvass neighborhoods and contact those who signed the petition the first time. This time, they won't guarantee anonymity. The group needs signatures from 20% of the city's registered voters to initiate a recall election in the North Shore town of 3,600.

They delivered 970 names to City Hall last week. Now, they will start again from scratch.

Hefter said he believes they can do it again, considering how they fared during the group's initial signature drive — a daylong event held at the Two Harbors Community Building.

"We had 600 signatures on the main day in the most public building in town," Hefter said. "No one is scared."

Jezierski, who has lived in the area for 26 years but is not a Two Harbors resident, is a Swanson supporter. He filed the lawsuit, which also named the city of Two Harbors, the city clerk, city council and interim city administrator in addition to Todd Ronning, one of the originators of Resign or Recall, and a handful of other members of the group.

Jezierski, a self-described advocate for election integrity, said he was happy to see the petition withdrawn — but he wants the information from it to be made public.

"It was filed; it's not like it never happened," he said. "That list should be public. … You can't put the genie back in the bottle."

On Thursday morning, more than a dozen people gathered online for a hearing in Lake County District Court calling for a temporary restraining order to stop action on the petition. It was cut short. With the paperwork and signatures withdrawn, there was no controversy before the court, Judge Dale Harris said.

"There will be no governmental action taken on it," he said. "There's nothing for me to rule on."

Though Swanson was not involved with the lawsuit, he was online during the remote hearing.

Swanson did not return calls for comment.

"Two Harbors is a great place to live, work and raise a family," he said in an e-mail. "I will continue to work with all parties to move our beautiful city forward."