Dem-Turned-GOP Legislator Holmes Faces Angry Voters
Rep. Lindsey Holmes was back in Anchorage at a community council meeting
ANCHORAGE - Before she got through the door, Representative Lindsey Holmes, R-Anchorage, walked through a handful of protestors brandishing "Recall Lindsey Holmes" posters outside of the Turnagain Community Council Thursday night. She's on a legislative break from Juneau and said she often visits community councils to give them an update on what is going on in the legislature. Thursday night the meeting included a presentation by the "Recall Lindsey Holmes" group, which has been canvassing West Anchorage neighborhoods encouraging voters to sign a petition to oust Holmes for switching from the Democratic to Republican Party after her most recent election.
The protesters reminded Turnagain residents they would be in the neighborhoods, and they felt Holmes was not upholding her duty by switching parties. Before the group started speaking, one man in the audience said it wasn't the role of the Community Council to allow the group to speak. He said the Spenard Council hadn't allowed the group, saying it wasn’t the right forum. “Recall” speakers proceeded anyway. When one man questioned the right of the presenter, Wigi Tozzi, to circulate a petition through the room, another audience member started shouting. They calmed down when Holmes started answering questions from the audience. Audience members pointed out recent votes that they thought were not characteristic of Holmes.
Phil Isley spoke up in her defense. He once ran against her, and said she hasn't changed. "She was a liberal then, she's a liberal now, and she probably will be one next week!"
One woman sitting in the front row said even if she wanted to change, she should have stayed a Democrat out of loyalty, "so you wouldn't feel like a traitor."
Holmes responded, "I don't feel like a traitor."
If the recall effort is successful, Holmes would be the first Alaska representative to be recalled. Tozzi said they're in the early stages of the process. The group currently has just 150 of the 850 signatures they need to trigger a recall election. If that happens, he says the election would be in the fall.