Dustin Darden is on a mission to reshape the Anchorage Assembly. On Jan. 29 he filed to fill Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson’s seat on the Assembly. Since Quinn-Davidson assumed the role of acting mayor on Oct. 23, 2020, her West Anchorage Assembly seat has been vacant because she cannot hold two offices at the same time, Darden maintains.

The city, however, has not officially declared that Quinn-Davidson’s seat is vacant.

Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones sent Darden a letter saying his declaration to file for Assembly Seat 3E was deficient because she had not posted the West Anchorage seat as “vacant.”

On Feb. 2, Darden and fellow Anchorage resident Nial Williams filed an appeal to the Alaska Superior Court, asking for intervention.

Darden, in a prepared statement, noted that according to city code, no person can hold more than one elected office of the following: mayor, assembly, and school board.

“Austin Quinn-Davidson cannot hold both the mayoral seat and an assembly seat simultaneously, thus Seat 3E must be vacant,” he said. He added that the Municipal Charter states that the power of the Assembly is vested in 11 members, “not the 10 members that have been present and voting since October 23, 2020 when Austin Quinn-Davidson took on a second elected office of the unlawful acting mayor.”

Darden is seeking an expedited hearing with the Superior Court. He is also asking to be placed on the ballot for the April 6 regular election and for the municipality to reprint ballots if necessary.

“It is time for the Municipality of Anchorage to be forced to follow the Municipal Charter and for the citizens of West Anchorage to have fair, lawful and equitable representation,” Darden stated.

In addition to his effort to run for Assembly, Darden is also part of an attempt to recall the acting mayor and Assemblyman Kameron Perez-Verdia. This effort is also before the Superior court, as Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones has refused to approve two separate applications for recall petitions.

To help with legal expenses, Darden and Williams have set up a GoFundMe account. Click here for more info.

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Anchorage man takes city to court to fill acting mayor’s now ‘vacant’ Assembly seat

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.