Anchorage mayoral hopeful Forrest Dunbar is telling potential campaign contributors he and his pals on the Assembly are following the city charter in deciding to not have a special election to fill the seat vacated by disgraced former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.


The idea, apparently, is too retain in the mayor’s office for as long as humanly possible Austin Quinn-Davidson, a member of the leftist cabal now running the Anchorage Assembly. It certainly does not have much to do with what the charter has to say about filling he vacancy.

Anchorage’s charter is specific on the matter and is chock-full of “shalls,” which is legalese for “just do it.”

It says: “A vacancy in the office of mayor shall be filled at a regular or special election held not less than 90 days from the time a vacancy occurs. If less than 90 days remain in the term when the vacancy occurs, the vacancy shall not be filled. When a vacancy occurs in the office of mayor, the chair of the Assembly shall serve as acting mayor until a successor is elected and takes office. The acting mayor has the veto power, but may not vote on Assembly action. The Assembly by ordinance shall provide for further succession to the office of acting mayor.”

Berkowitz bailed Oct. 23, and 90 days from that date is Jan. 21. Anchorage residents should about then be voting on a temporary mayor who would serve until July 1, when the mayor-elect from the regularly scheduled April 6 election takes office.

If the liberal wing of the Assembly does not like the current charter language, if its members believe such an election would be too costly or logistically impossible, if they want to make “not less than 90 days” mean “whenever we feel like it,” they should try to persuade Anchorage residents to change the charter’s language at the polls. Until that happens, the Assembly should be following the charter’s dictums. It is not, after all, advisory.

All of this leaves us to wonder: Should a guy who has difficulty reading and comprehending the charter really be thinking about running for mayor?


  1. What’s their explanation for this? COVID, or something? How many different kinds of exemptions should there be when writing legally binding documents? Does the assembly have authority to change the charter? Hopefully not. If not, what’s That seems like 0 checks and balance with an interim mayor decided upon by the assembly. I guess I’m just stating the obvious, but some people are easily offended but have very little shame…. seems to be a theme with people in a certain dimension.

  2. Dunbar does not understand Law. The Charter is specific and the term “Shall” is unambiguous in mean that there must be an election.

  3. First, a couple of disclaimers: First, I’m not a lawyer so anything I post about what the charter does or does not say is just my opinion, and second, I *want* to agree with you. I am not a fan of 9/11ths of the Assembly, I was glad when Berkowitz stepped down (although I was more than a little disturbed that revenge porn is what finally forced him out), and I absolutely, positively do not support Austin Quinn-Davidson as interim mayor.

    Having said all of that, the Anchorage Charter is clear, and you quoted it yourself: the Assembly shall replace the mayor through a special election or regular election not less than 90 days after the previous mayor steps down. A regular election in April *will meet this requirement.*

    Is it a regular or special election? Yes, a regular election is, well, a regular election and would therefore meet this requirement. Would an April 6th regular election take place “not less than 90 days” after Berkowitz stepped down? Again, yes. An election occurring after Jan. 21st would meet the requirement of “not less than 90 days,” and since April 6th is after Jan. 21st, it meets the requirement also.

    You and I may not like it — and make no mistake, I don’t like it — but the Assembly is within their rights to wait until April to elect a new mayor. Just make sure you remember who on the Assembly voted against holding a special election when we finally do get a chance to cast our votes.

  4. Perfect conclusion: Should a guy who has difficulty reading and comprehending the charter really be thinking about running for mayor?

  5. “What becomes inescapable when you read (America’s Constitution) is how shot through every portion of our constitutional law is with race when it comes to the three-fifths compromise, the way the Senate was apportioned in Congress, the Electoral College,” (Dunbar) said.
    Can one imagine this wretch, this disgrace to its military uniform, taking an oath of office, what its oath might be?
    Disenfranchised as they may be by Anchorage’s easily corruptible mail-in ballot system, productive Anchorage residents may soon find out.

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