Bronson’s inauguration marks turning point in Anchorage leadership

Marking a major shift in Anchorage politics, Dave Bronson takes office as the municipality’s mayor on Thursday morning.

Bronson was sworn in at 8 a.m. by the municipal clerk, Barbara Jones.

Bronson at 10 a.m. will make an announcement outlining a series of mayoral orders and policies, said his transition team spokesman, Matt Shuckerow. Shuckerow did not provide further details on what policies would be announced.

The swearing-in took place at the Marriott Anchorage Downtown during an inaugural breakfast and benefit for Bean’s Cafe, a local soup kitchen and homeless services provider.

Bronson said in a statement that it is meant to demonstrate his administration’s focus on homelessness and food security.

Bronson, Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Sauder, CEO of Bean’s Cafe, will speak at the event, according to Sauder.

Bronson won a runoff race against Assembly member Forrest Dunbar by 50.66% after a contentious campaign, during which Bronson sharply criticized city officials for their handling of the homelessness crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.


[Attacking Anchorage Assembly members was central to Bronson’s campaign. Now he needs to work with them.]

He has since unveiled a plan to build a mass homeless shelter and “navigation center” in East Anchorage.

A conservative, Bronson has said he intends to diverge from some of the policies of the more progressive administrations of former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, who resigned in October, and Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson, the first woman and openly gay individual to serve as Anchorage mayor.

Bronson this week announced the appointments of a slew of conservative political players to key positions within the city. Those include Amy Demboski, a former Anchorage Assembly member and deputy commissioner for the state Department of Commerce, as city manager and former Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell as chief of staff.

To celebrate the inauguration, Bronson will also hold an inaugural block party for the public on Thursday, advertised as “an event to bring the city together.“ That event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on the Delaney Park Strip downtown and will include a ceremonial swearing-in at 5:30 p.m.

Quinn-Davidson will not be in attendance at any of the inaugural events, according to a spokeswoman. Quinn-Davidson’s office said in an email that she has “regretfully declined the invitation” because she is leaving town on a pre-scheduled trip.

Emily Goodykoontz

Emily Goodykoontz is a reporter covering Anchorage local government and general assignments. She previously covered breaking news at The Oregonian in Portland before joining ADN in 2020. Contact her at