Santa Rosa, Calif. Vice Mayor John Sawyer has become the city’s first openly gay mayor, after being selected to fill out the last six months of Mayor Bob Blanchard’s term. Blanchard died about two weeks ago, shortly after resigning his post to face his battle with cancer.
Santa Rosa’s mayor is chosen among the elected city council members for a two-year post, according to the Press Democrat. Sawyer, who describes himself as a fiscally conservative Democrat, has served on the City Council since 2004.
Sawyer claims that having a gay mayor is not a big deal.
“For me, it’s a non-issue,” he said. “For others, it’s a very major issue. The voters who elected me didn’t think it was an issue. But for gay youth who maybe are struggling, to them having a gay mayor is meaningful.”