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Anchorage chooses first woman, openly gay acting mayor, report says

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 3 days ago Joel Shannon, USA TODAY
a view of a large mountain in the background: Anchorage, Alaska. © Lance King, Getty Images Anchorage, Alaska.

Following a week rocked by a mayor's scandal and resignation, Austin Quinn-Davidson is set to make local history in Anchorage, Alaska, as the city's new acting mayor, starting next week.

Quinn-Davidson, 40, will be the first woman and openly gay person to serve as mayor or acting mayor of Anchorage, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The Anchorage Assembly voted Friday to appoint Quinn-Davidson, an attorney, to the role.

During a special meeting on Friday, Felix Rivera — who as the chair of the Assembly was himself poised to be the city’s first openly gay mayor, as well as its youngest and first Latino mayor — said he recommended Quinn-Davidson for the job

Rivera praised Quinn-Davidson as a "compassionate and dedicated public servant." The Assembly's reorganization means Quinn-Davidson temporarily takes over Rivera's job, which he will resume when she becomes acting mayor next week.

Addressing community members who may have been disappointed that the city will not have its first person of color serve as mayor, Rivera said: "Don't you worry. It will happen sooner or later. If I were a betting person, I'd bet on sooner."

Anchorage resident Tara Wheatland congratulated Quinn-Davidson during public comment at the meeting: "While the circumstances may not be what we might have wished for, I am also so proud to see you take office as the first woman to serve as the mayor of Anchorage."

The scramble to appoint an acting mayor came days after Democrat Ethan Berkowitz submitted his resignation to the Anchorage Assembly. The mayor's resignation followed Berkowitz's admission Monday that he was involved in an inappropriate sexting — he called it “messaging" — relationship with an anchor at a TV station in Anchorage.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Anchorage chooses first woman, openly gay acting mayor, report says



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