Alaska Senate President Peter Micciche said Wednesday he will not seek reelection this year, citing a desire to spend more time with family.
His announcement comes after the Legislature last week ended its four-month regular session and a week before a candidate filing deadline.
The Soldotna Republican said he has spent nearly 11 of the last 16 months away from his four daughters and wife, “who need me at home. My family is my priority.” Last year was marked by drawn-out budget fights and four special sessions.
The Division of Elections currently shows three other candidates for the Senate seat, including Tuckerman Babcock, a former Republican state party chair.
Micciche was first elected to the Senate in 2012 and was Senate president this year and last. He led a Republican-majority caucus whose members had sharply different views on the annual dividend paid to residents from Alaska’s oil-wealth fund.
Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich last week called Micciche a friend. The two spoke to reporters in Micciche’s office early Thursday morning about their impressions of the session that had just ended.
Begich, an Anchorage Democrat, said working with Micciche had been a “joy and a delight.”