Before you read:
Amourence Lee is now the first Jewish and Asian American woman mayor of San Mateo, California.
The deadlocked vote ended on Monday night when San Mateo’s city council elected its fifth member and subsequently appointed Lee as mayor.
Councilmember Lisa Diaz Nash will notably serve as the city’s deputy mayor.
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“This year ahead is going to be one of learning and growing together and it's an incredibly rare occurrence to have so many new council members and as we transition to by-district elections, let's always remember to remain united in our service to the community by considering our needs and interests of San Mateo as a whole," Lee said after being appointed.
Lee alleged that she was previously approached by two people who urged her to vote for Cliff Robbins, Diaz Nash’s preferred fifth candidate, in exchange for her appointment as mayor.
Instead of Robbins, San Mateo’s city council elected his rival, Richard Hedges, in a 3-1 vote.
Lee did not elaborate further on who sent those people to her. She noted that she does not believe Robbins was involved in the incident, and she also said that she has already reached out to the city attorney.
“I cannot in good conscience [vote] after the multiple attempts to extort my vote for a candidate in exchange for a seat,” Lee said on Monday. “When the prescribed sequence is followed the powers of the mayor cannot be held hostage or made a bargaining chip. The only antidote is to take care of the first order of business.”
Lee reportedly pulled out a manila envelope with Robbins’ name written on it during Monday’s voting, prompting Diaz Nash to inquire about the action as Robbins stood in protest.
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News of the unprecedented deadlock, which lasted for seven days, made headlines last week.
San Mateo City has a long-held 128-year-old tradition in which the most senior council member becomes next in line as mayor.
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Featured Image via CBS News