JUNEAU -- Embattled Rep. Lindsey Holmes, R-Anchorage, won't be running for re-election in November.
Holmes, who was facing a tough campaign and a long-shot recall effort after she switched from the Democratic Party last year, told Alaska Public Radio Network and political blogger Amanda Coyne on Friday that she simply wanted to spend more time at home and with her family and friends.
She did not respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon but her chief of staff confirmed that Holmes would not be running for re-election.
Holmes already had a declared Democratic opponent for her West Anchorage seat, former Anchorage Assemblyman Matt Claman.
Rep. Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, said that he had expected Holmes' re-election fight to be one of the toughest in the state. But he added Republicans would probably be able to draft someone to take her place.
"I certainly will take an active role. I think you'll see a good candidate come out of there," he said. "There are a lot of good people that live there."
Johnson declined to name potential candidates.
Wigi Tozzi, who led the group trying to recall Holmes, said that he was looking forward to the campaign for Holmes' seat.
"Now it's going to be about the issues -- what (candidates') vision of West Anchorage should be, what Alaska should be," he said. "Not about the politics."
Tozzi's group late last year had appealed a decision by the state to reject the recall application. Coincidentally, Tozzi said that the judge in the case had rejected the appeal on Friday.
It's unlikely the recall group will appeal to the Supreme Court; Tozzi said the only reason for doing so would be to press the case that the state's recall laws are unconstitutional -- if the court would even accept the case.
"It would be nice if we were on the record with the Supreme Court saying we in fact have grounds for recall," he said. "But the bottom line is, Rep. Holmes is not running again."
Reach Nathaniel Herz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4311.
By NATHANIEL HERZ