There's no law against a state lawmaker changing parties. So Lindsay Holmes, who changed her affiliation from Democrat to Republican and joined the GOP majority in the state House of Representatives, has broken no law in exercising her right of association.
Trust is another matter.
Some of her constituents are angry. That's understandable. She ran and won in November as a Democrat, raised money as a Democrat, recruited volunteers as a Democrat. Accusations of bait and switch and feelings of betrayal are valid. If this was something she's been thinking about for some time, as she's said, she should have made that clear to the voters -- or better, made the switch well before the election or run as an independent
The constituent who lost the most here might well be Anand Dubey, Holmes' Republican opponent. He thought he was the Republican candidate.
A philosophical change of heart and mind is one thing. But a switch just two months after the election, with the prize of a seat on the House Finance Committee as the reward to bolt your old mates -- who didn't give you one of their Finance seats -- looks like opportunism.
Bush Democrats often have joined the Republican majority for the practical reason that it's the only way to to be sure of a share of the state pie for their districts. For Anchorage lawmakers it's different, because in addition to party affiliation there's the force of a bipartisan Anchorage caucus that looks out for the city's districts.
In the end, Holmes' constituents will give the verdict on her decision. Conveniently for her, that jury is out until 2014.
BOTTOM LINE: Holmes' switch leaves many West Anchorage voters wondering who and what they voted for.