Anchorage Rep. Lindsey Holmes confirmed on Friday that she will not be seeking reelection to her House seat in West Anchorage.
“It was a hard decision because I love my job, and I feel really good about a lot of things I did as a legislator,” she said. Her heart, however, wasn’t 100 percent in it. She said she’s looking forward to working, spending time with her god kids, friends, and in the house that she loves.
Holmes switched from Democrat to Republican last year, and has received much criticism, and a recall effort, for doing so.
She doesn’t know what she’ll be doing now. She’s a lawyer and she’ll be looking for a job in the private sector, but she doesn’t have anything lined up.
As for party politics, she going to continue to be a Republican, and will help out Rep. Mia Costello in her run for state Senate, she said. She’d also like to help those who are working to oppose an oil tax repeal. She will not be supporting Matt Claman, the Democrat who is running for her seat.
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On Tuesday, the Legislature unanimously passed HB 262, introduced by Rep. Lindsey Holmes, which gives the Office of Public Advocacy (OPA) and the Public Defender Agency (PD) latitude in contracting expert witnesses and other services to defend people who don’t have enough money to hire a private lawyer.
As it stands, when securing certain services like expert witnesses or contract lawyers, OPA and PD are required to put in a formal request for procurement. The Department of Law, which is the prosecutor, doesn’t have to, which can give the already powerful DOL an advantage. Also, the bill ensures that public defenders don’t have to get permission from the DOL to contract services.
Holmes has been mightily criticized for switching from Democrat to Republican in 2013. But it’s hard for a member of the minority to get a bill of any significance passed. So although her switch might have hurt the Democratic Party, in this case anyway, it appears to have been good for the public.
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Campaign disclosure reports were due on Tuesday, and there were a few surprises in the money game. For one, GOP lieutenant governor candidate Alaska state Sen. Lesil McGuire out-raised Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, who is also running for the seat. On the Democratic side of the aisle for lieutenant governor, relatively unknown Bob Williams sort of out-raised Sen. Hollis French. In the race for governor, Democrat Byron Mallott raised more than expected, but he spent more than expected too. Read on for details.
- Gov. Sean Parnell raised $407,253 this election cycle. He spent $76,220, leaving him with a hefty amount to spend on the race. Much of his staff so far, like Jerry Gallagher, have been working as volunteers. Such is the luxury of incumbency.
- Byron Mallott raised an impressive $234,000, which included $40,000 from the Alaska Democratic Party. However, he spent $188,136 and owes $9,633, leaving him with $36,580 to spend. Much of the money he raised went to traveling around the state. A good chunk also went to staff. He spent $27,000 for management expenses to Vantage Point, a consulting firm. He paid his communications director
campaign manger Claire Richardson more than $19,000, and thousands went to other staffers.
- Independent Bill Walker raised $202,629, of which $29,000 is his own money. He spent $77,952 leaving him with $124,677, a respectable amount for a non-incumbent independent.
- GOP lieutenant governor candidate Alaska state Sen. Lesil McGuire raised more than $108,000 and spent about $35,000, leaving her with about $73,000 on hand. Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan raised about $91,000, and has $57,000 left to spend.
- Another surprise: Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Bob Williams raised $63,000, about $12,000 more than was reported by Sen. Hollis French. If you compare debts, however, Williams has $41,324 left to spend and French has $51,700. (The numbers are a little tricky because French brought $22,605 to the campaign, about $8,000 of which are funds from a previous state Senate race. The rest came from when he began raising money in August to run for governor. He changed his candidacy to lieutenant governor in October.)
- In another race that I’m watching, Republican Rep. Lindsey Holmes raised $42,152. She brought $4,800 into the campaign and still has more than $44,200 on hand. One of her Democratic challengers, Clare Ross, raised $31,427, which is pretty impressive for a political neophyte. Ross has $18,717 to spend. Matt Claman, who’s not a political neophyte and who is also running for Holmes’ seat, raised $34,663 and has $21,974 left over.
I’ll have more on these and other numbers on Wednesday.
UPDATED: The story was updated to include Bill Walker’s tally.
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