Representatives from the “Recall Lindsey Holmes” group and Alaska’s Division of Elections met in State Superior Court on Thursday.
The two sides are arguing over the state’s rejection of a petition to recall Anchorage Representative Lindsey Holmes, who switched parties from Democrat to Republican just days before the 2013 Legislative session was set to gavel in.
Elizabeth Bakalar represents the Alaska Division of Elections. She says the recall process is aimed at dealing with issues of misconduct that arise during a representative’s time in office, and because the event took place before Holmes was sworn in, the circumstances deal more with the candidacy and primary process, which is separate.
“It’s a political discontent, not legal discontent, that’s reflected in the grievances, and the remedy lies with the voters at a regular election and not a special recall election and not with this court today,” Bakalar said.
The recall effort began shortly after Holmes made the announcement in early 2013. Over the next several months, the “Recall Lindsey Holmes” group gathered 904 signatures, turning them into the State Division of Elections in November – nearly 100 more than were necessary.
Roughly a month later, the Division of Elections rejected the petition, saying the effort to recall Holmes did not meet the requirements laid out by the state constitution.
Louis Tozzi, who represents the “Recall Lindsey Holmes” group, disagrees with that assessment, arguing a “lack of fitness” on the part of Representative Holmes’, which would allow the recall effort to move forward.
“The issue is we believe that Ms. Holmes corrupted the intent of the closed primary and that she raised money disingenuously and made misrepresentations to the voters – and that the voters, especially the contributors, feel defrauded by that,” Tozzi said.
At the close of the hearing, Judge Gregory Miller said he would take the arguments into consideration and issue a written opinion at a later date.