Anchorage Republican Sen. Natasha von Imhof announced on Tuesday evening that she won’t seek re-election or election any other office this year, explaining that she plans to take time off from politics to focus on her family “for the foreseeable future.”
A former co-chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, von Imhof has been one of the Senate’s key moderate voices in recent years and was central to the chamber’s efforts to oppose the draconian cuts proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy during his first few years in office. She was rumored to be considering a bid for governor as a moderate Republican alternative but said she’s instead retiring from politics “due to family circumstances.”
“My family and I made the tough decision that I will be serving out my term and then stepping down from politics, and I’m going to focus on family for the foreseeable future,” she said in a video posted to Twitter. “I do want to say thank you to my supporters and constituents for allowing me to serve this great state of Alaska.”
In an interview with the Anchorage Daily News, she said her husband’s recent cancer diagnosis was a factor in her decision as well as the recent death of her father, Ed Rasmuson.
The state’s redistricting process would have paired von Imhof with fellow Republican Sen. Mia Costello. However, that plan was ordered to be redrawn this morning so the final outcome could be different.
In her interview with the ADN, von Imhof didn’t rule out a future return to politics.