A group of political activists, who spent a better part of a year collecting signatures while braving the harsh elements of an Alaska winter, were disappointed with the state’s decision to reject their petition to recall Alaska state Rep. Lindsey Holmes.
According to the Division of Elections, the group gathered enough signatures and the application was filed in time for a recall; however, the Department of Law ruled that Holmes’ decision to switch party affiliations from Democrat to Republican doesn’t amount to a “lack of fitness” for the job. Consequently, the recall petition was formally rejected. The repeal group has the option of appealing the decision.
To most political observers, the decision to reject the recall petition came as little or no surprise. Switching parties never appeared to be an offense meeting the legal muster of requirements for a recall.
The practical issue will be what effect, if any, the signature collection, sign waving, yard signs and negative news publicity about Holmes switching parties immediately after the 2012 election will have on her in this election cycle.
Holmes’ district is a relatively politically moderate one. The senator representing her district is Democrat Hollis French and it was one of the few areas in the state where President Obama did well.
Holmes has been laying low lately. Her Facebook page indicates that she’s been traveling and vacationing recently. Last month, during a heated debate in Anchorage over Mayor Dan Sullivan’s controversial tennis court proposal, she sent a text to an Anchorage Daily News reporter that she was unavailable for comment. Holmes might have information that would shed light on the controversy.
Meantime, her opponents were busy organizing their campaigns, holding fundraisers and going door-to-door. One of those candidates, former Anchorage assemblyman and acting mayor, Matt Claman, has already begun leaving campaign materials at doors.
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