West Anchorage Republican Lindsey Holmes will not be running for reelection to the Alaska House of Representatives.
Holmes has served eight years in the Legislature, six of them as a Democrat. She switched parties after her last election, and then became the target of a recall campaign. She says that while the criticism was difficult, that’s not her primary motive for leaving office.
“I never went into this planning to be somebody who was down there forever,” says Holmes. “And after eight years, I came home, and I just wanted to be home more.”
Holmes says that while the decision to change parties proved difficult at points, she is happy with the work she did with the House Majority Caucus as part of its moderate wing. She does not have firm plans for the future, but she plans to help Anchorage Republican Mia Costello in the race for her district’s Senate seat and that she would like to get involved with the Vote No on 1 campaign to defeat the oil tax referendum.
Holmes confirms she is retiring from politics the day after the Anchorage Superior Court handed down a decision related to her recall.
Judge Gregory Miller upheld a ruling by the Division of Elections that there were not sufficient grounds for a recall against Holmes. Judge Miller also rejected the argument that the statutes governing recalls were overly burdensome.
Wigi Tozzi is the West Anchorage district chair for the Democratic Party, and he argued the case for the recall campaign. He says they will not be appealing the decision now that Holmes is retiring.
“The voters stood up, and for two years – essentially two years – for an entire term, made it very clear that they were unhappy and that they weren’t going to put up with that,” says Holmes. “If you want to find out if your district has a mandate, then you should run again. And she’s not running.”
Matt Claman, a former Anchorage assemblyman, will be running for the West Anchorage House seat as a Democrat. There are no Republicans in the race yet.
Holmes won the race as a Democrat in 2012 by ten points, with 55 percent of the vote.