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Anchorage Assembly elects Forrest Dunbar as new chair, replacing Felix Rivera

Assembly member Forrest Dunbar on April 2, 2019. (Bill Roth / ADN)

The Anchorage Assembly ended a lengthy meeting Tuesday night with a vote to reorganize the leadership structure, replacing Felix Rivera with Forrest Dunbar as chair.

The move is likely temporary, Rivera said.

In March, Rivera said he would call for a vote to give members a chance to have a new chair while he works on his reelection campaign. Rivera said if he is reelected in April, he will seek to regain the leadership position.

“I believe I have the support to do that,” he said.

From left, Anchorage Assembly members Felix Rivera, Crystal Kennedy, John Weddleton and Meg Zaletel listen to testimony during a municipal town hall meeting at the Steve Primis Auditorium at Chugiak High School on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

The deliberation was brief and took place just before midnight. Assemblyman Pete Petersen nominated Dunbar. Assemblyman John Weddleton was nominated for vice chair by Assemblyman Chris Constant. No other members were nominated for either position.

Weddleton was elected vice chair, replacing Assemblywoman Suzanne LaFrance. LaFrance is also seeking reelection.

The voting is done by secret ballot. It requires at least six votes from the 11-member body to appoint someone to a leadership position.

Rivera said the new power structure of Dunbar and Weddleton was known by the majority of the body, and Dunbar made a commitment to support Rivera regaining the chair position in April, Rivera said.

Rivera initially became Assembly chair in April 2019.

Dunbar previously held the chair position and in 2018 stepped down as he was facing reelection.

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