Lindsey Holmes recall, Alaska House of Representatives (2013)
On November 6, 2013, 904 signatures were submitted for approval. On December 7, the Division of Elections announced that the Department of Law found that changing parties as noted in the recall petition did not equate to a "lack of fitness" for Holmes to hold office. Head of the Department of Elections, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) upheld the ruling and rejected the petition. Recall Lindsey Holmes filed an appeal on December 20. The Recall Lindsey Holmes Facebook page indicated that the group received a decision on their appeal on May 1, 2014. Their appeal was denied. Holmes announced on May 2, 2014, that she would not be seeking re-election.
In November 2012, Holmes was re-elected to the Alaska House of Representatives, defeating challenger Anand Dubey (R) by a 10-point margin. Days before the Alaska State Legislature convened its 2013 legislative session, Holmes switched parties from Democratic to Republican. This gave the Republicans in the chamber a supermajority of 30-10, and changed the makeup of the Finance Committee from 7 Republicans and 3 Democrats to 8 and 2, respectively. As committees had already been selected for the 2013 session, the reconfiguration provided an empty seat on the committee to Republicans, while one Democrat had to be removed. Holmes was awarded the empty seat by the Republican caucus.
Recall Lindsey Holmes (RLH) led the recall effort against Lindsey Holmes. On their official website, they offered the following statement:
|“||Representative Holmes has demonstrated unsuitable conduct, is unfit for office and should be recalled. She has:
Mike Wenstrup, Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party, criticized Holmes' party switch. "Rep. Holmes has deceived the voters of her district," he said. "She should have been honest about her intentions. If she intended to serve as a Republican, she should have run as a Republican."
On June 4, Holmes issued a response to the criticisms over her party change:
|“||I had felt myself aligning more and more on economic development and business issues with the majority, the Republican-led majority. And I had felt myself distancing myself more from the stances of some of my democratic colleagues. I had just felt that on the economic development and business issues, which I thought were important – if we want to fund schools and roads and police, we need money to do it.||”|
On December 20, 2013, supporters of the recall filed an appeal in state court. The group hoped that, though Holmes was not named in the lawsuit, she would eventually get involved and be required to explain why she switched parties. The appeal argued that the state's election system was fundamentally flawed if politicians can so easily change their political party affiliations. The appeal was denied on May 1, 2014.
- January 31, 2013: Recall effort organized.
- November 6, 2013: 904 signatures submitted to the Alaska Secretary of State
- December 7, 2013: Recall dismissed by Alaska Division of Elections for not meeting constitutional requirements.
- December 20, 2013: Appeal filed in court.
- May 1, 2014: Appeal denied.
- May 2, 2014: Holmes announced she would not seek re-election.
- alaskapublic.org, "Recall Lindsey Holmes Campaign Gets Ready to Submit Application," June 4, 2013
- adn.com, "State rejects recall effort against party-switching Anchorage lawmaker," December 6, 2013
- alaskadispatch.com, "Appeal filed in recall effort against Alaska Rep. Holmes," December 20, 2013
- Facebook, "Recall Lindsey Holmes," accessed August 25, 2014
- adn.com, "Anchorage lawmaker Lindsey Holmes switches parties," January 12, 2013
- recallindseyholmes.com, "Recall Language," accessed September 12, 2013
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.