Anchorage Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar on Tuesday night kept his word by stepping down as Assembly chair after holding the position since April.

The Assembly voted the post to Eric Croft, who will not be seeking re-election next year. He said he's happy to do the job and give Dunbar a chance to campaign for re-election.

It was always Dunbar's intent to hand over the gavel this month. He was first elected to represent East Anchorage in 2016; a year later, he was voted to serve as the Assembly's vice chair.

Dunbar accepted the chair appointment six months ago, adding he would hold it until this month so others could lead.

“When I ran in April, I told my colleagues I only plan to serve until December,” he said. “I had been the vice chair before that. We have very few people on the body who have either been vice chair or chair. So I wanted to help build that institutional knowledge and experience.”

During his tenure, Dunbar presided over some high-profile issues facing the Assembly:

  • Authorizing the $1 billion sale of ML&P to Chugach Electric, the municipality’s largest sale
  • Approving the Anchorage Police Department’s expansion into the former Legislative Information Office building downtown
  • Responding to the 7.0 earthquake that struck on Nov. 30, which forced some schools and business to evacuate

“We just did a lot, and we did it by staying collegial and working together,” Dunbar said. “Just the logistics of it can be challenging. You’ve got 11 members. A lot of us have other jobs. It’s challenging, no doubt.”

Dunbar is completing his first Assembly term, having been elected in 2016. He is already running for reelection in April.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Dunbar stepped down on Monday. He stepped down at the Assembly meeting on Tuesday.

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