Eagle River Republican Sen. Anna MacKinnon has made official her long-rumored plans to retire from the Alaska Legislature at the end of this term, according to a report by KTVA.
MacKinnon’s served in the Legislature since 2007, when she was elected to the House, and as the co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee since joining the Senate in 2015. She previously served on the Anchorage Assembly and worked as the executive director of Standing Together Against Rape.
She told KTVA the lengthy sessions were a factor in her decision to not seek re-election.
“I’m sort of a newlywed in the sense that being in elected office has left me in Juneau 50 percent of the time I’ve been married,” told the station, noting she was married two years ago. “I’m telling people that I had a really good job offer and it has really great benefits. And those benefits are a 2 year old and a 4 year old looking in your eyes with unconditional love.”
As co-chair of the Senate’s powerful finance committee, MacKinnon was one of the most high-profile legislators in recent years, where she oversaw both the formation of the capital budget during the rockiest years of the state’s finances as well as running bills for the committee.
She sparred frequently with Gov. Bill Walker’s administration over its budget early this session, particularly when it came to the state’s supplemental Medicaid requests. Towards the end of session, she was the Senate Majority’s leading voice to publicly push for the caucus’ budget plan.
MacKinnon also made headlines during the 29th Legislature for a proposal that would have sought to exclude Alaska from daylight saving time.
Legislative observers have been expecting MacKinnon to retire after this term. She’s just one of a few sitting legislators that headed into the 2018 legislative session without filing any election paperwork or conducted any fundraising.
Eagle River Republican Rep. Lora Reinbold is largely expected by those same observers to seek the open solidly Republican seat.
Two Democratic senators, Sens. Berta Gardner and Dennis Egan, have also announced they will not seek re-election this year.
None of the three seats are at a high chance of flipping parties in the next election, so none open significant opportunities to realign the Senate’s political balance.