An Alaska antimask activist who recently called a gay Anchorage official a “cocksucker” has died of COVID-19.
Paul Kendall, who ran for office several times without success, used the slur toward Chris Constant, a member of the Anchorage Assembly, during a September 29 meeting on a proposed mask mandate for the city. The assembly is Anchorage’s governing body, similar to a city council.
At the meeting, many residents who opposed the mandate spoke to the council. When Kendall took the mike, he said to Constant, “I thought you were just a cocksucker, but you’re a coward,” as documented on video by The Alaska Landmine, a news website. Some people cheered Kendall, who was then escorted from the building. He was later arrested for trespassing.
“I’ve been called worse by better,” Constant, who supports the mandate, said when the meeting closed.
“The part that in fact shocked me to silence was when roughly 200 people cheered zealously,” Constant said the next night, as the assembly met again to take more public comments, TV station KTUU reports. “That was the part that zinged me and really took my breath away for a minute.”
Mayor Dave Bronson apologized for not speaking in Constant’s defense at the time, saying he was caught off guard. “What was said was intolerable, and it shouldn’t have been said,” Bronson said.
Also, several antimask protesters at the meeting wore yellow Stars of David, likening mask mandates to Nazi Germany’s order for Jews to wear the star. Bronson initially said he supported their right to wear the star, then said he recognized that using it in this manner was offensive to Jews. “I want to apologize for any perception that my statements support or compare what happened to the Jewish people in Nazi Germany,” he said in a statement.
Now Kendall has died of COVID-19. Dustin Darden, a fellow Alaska political gadfly, posted Tuesday on Facebook that “Paul is now a victim of the global elite.” The post was in a Facebook group called “Alaskans Against Vaccines * Bioweapon Injections.”
Kendall ran for Alaska state Senate in 2012, U.S. Senate (in the Republican primary against incumbent Lisa Murkowski) in 2016, and for Anchorage mayor in 2009 and 2018. He lost every time.
He had a pattern of homophobic remarks. During his 2009 run for mayor, he wrote a letter to Patrick Flynn, then a member of the Anchorage Assembly, with the heading “Acceptable speach in Homosexual, Queers, Fagots, Deviants,” the Juneau Empire notes.