Rep. Abby Holman is an intelligent and knowledgeable individual with extensive lobbying experience on forest products issues. She has a law degree and will be an asset to both the Judiciary and the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committees, to which she has been appointed.
Considering the public’s – and this newspaper’s – heightened scrutiny of conflicts of interest issues, House Speaker Glenn Cummings had good reason to decline Holman’s assignment to the Agriculture committee. Holman was not alone. Cummings exercised similar sensitivity in not assigning other freshmen with lobbying backgrounds to the Appropriations committee and the Natural Resources committee.
Moreover, it is common for legislators, especially first-termers, to receive a committee assignment that is perhaps not their first choice. One purpose of committee assignments is to help legislators broaden their horizons and work with lawmakers of different backgrounds and areas of expertise.
A candidate for the House of Representatives runs for the House, not for a particular committee. Anyone who thinks they have an absolute right to serve on a particular committee would do well to remember the words of the great Mick Jagger: “You can’t always get what you want. … But if you try sometime, you just might find … You get what you need!”
Holman will have much to contribute to the legislative debate this session, no matter what her committee assignment. She will also find that working with a variety of legislators will broaden her horizons and deepen her ability to represent her constituents.
Rep. Janet T. Mills, Farmington