Kotzebue Rep. Lincoln will not seek re-election

Rep. John Lincoln introduces people from Kotzebue, including his family, who came to celebrate on his first day in office. (KTUU)

JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - Kotzebue Rep. John Lincoln, an Independent, announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election.

The House District 40 representative, whose district includes the Northwest Arctic Borough and North Slope, along with three Yukon-Koyukuk communities of Allakaket, Bettles and Hughes, has represented the area since 2018.

Lincoln was appointed to the Legislature by Gov. Bill Walker, to replace Rep. Dean Westlake, a Kotzebue Democrat, who resigned in December 2017 over allegations of sexual harassment.

Lincoln was re-elected for a full term later that year.

The lawmaker said in a letter to constituents and on social media that he plans to return to his job at NANA and spend more time with his family.

"To put it simply, I'm at a stage in life – as a husband and father of young children – that makes it extremely important for me to be present and to provide for my family, which makes it difficult for me to remain a legislator,” he wrote.

"Serving our home district as your State Representative is one of the greatest honors of my life, and it is not an easy decision to pursue other work," he wrote.

"Thank you for believing in me and trusting me to be our voice in Juneau. I've done my best to represent us with kindness, honor, and strength, and to demonstrate to the rest of our state what our district and our values are really all about," he said in closing.

Lincoln is a co-chair of the House Resources Committee.

The deadline to file to run for the Legislature is June 1.

Channel 2 political reporter Sean Maguire contributed to this report from Juneau.

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