David Seaward, the handsome young mayor of Seward, was born to Tibetan Buddhist nomads and adopted by an American Christian missionary after they died. He grew up in Nepal and Malaysia. His given name is Chule, but he chose David from a "Hulk" comics character. He speaks four languages. In America, he says, he developed a gambling addiction. He moved to Seward in 2003, on the lookout for financial stability and a potential wife. He camped out for a couple years, worked odd jobs, then bought a downtown house. Signs on his gate say "Love God. Love Life. Follow Your Dreams." He currently works part time in Anchorage as a security guard. And, as the Seward Phoenix Log reports, his six months as mayor have tended toward contentious.
Seaward surprised Seward with his October election victory over incumbent Willard Dunham, winning by just 11 votes.
Who is ... this 36-year-old mayor with few local connections or family roots in Alaska who proudly calls the Seward Community Library, with its free Internet service, his office? ...
Some political observers believe Seaward deliberately isolates himself from his colleagues on the council, despite their repeated attempts to help him understand his duties as mayor, and to bring him into the fold. They say that he has been difficult to work with, and often seems to have a chip on his shoulder, or feel that others are against him. On the contrary, he holds no ill feelings toward council members Bob Valdatta or Ristine Casagranda, despite their vote for his public censure [which banned him from travel on behalf of the city], nor toward Assistant City Manager Ron Long, whom he greatly admires, Seaward said. Rather, it is the other council members that are obviously against him.
Read much more in the Phoenix Log's two-part profile of Seaward and his mayorship so far: