Doogan says he won't seek re-election next year

AP Photo/Chris Miller

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A Democratic lawmaker from Anchorage said Monday he won't seek re-election next year, adding that he had already spent more time in the state Legislature than he initially planned.

Rep. Mike Doogan said that he originally planned to serve two terms but at the urging of some colleagues, he wound up seeking — and winning — another term. He said that's enough.

"I think that this is a duty that people have, and it's a duty they should have for a certain amount of time so that more people, with more, fresh ideas, can get into the mix," he said.

Doogan said he also wasn't excited about the prospect of having to run against another Democratic lawmaker, Chris Tuck. The new redistricting plan put the two in the same district.

Though Doogan said he liked to think he could win, the idea of either sidelining Tuck, whom he considers to be a "pretty good legislator," or losing didn't hold much appeal.

The 63-year-old said his health was also a consideration, though not a deciding factor. Doogan had a brain tumor removed last year and missed the second special session in late June to undergo treatment related to the surgery. A caucus spokesman said at the time that Doogan was put under a coma to ease seizures, a side effect of his surgery.

Doogan said he is doing better.

House Minority Leader Beth Kerttula praised Doogan on her Facebook page, calling him "one of the smartest, funniest & most thoughtful legislators I've worked with."

Doogan has been a prominent member of the House minority, speaking out, perhaps most notably, about concerns with the state's rate of spending. He serves on the House Finance Committee.

The second half of the legislative session begins in January.

10/25/2011 - 7:24am