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December 6, 2023
All Day
Anacortes, WA 98221
2012.035.001 Bettye Bryant and Apple Cup rep
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Bettye Bryant becomes first female mayor of Anacortes (1976)

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

“I don’t know if I’m ready or if the city is ready for me,” Bettye Bryant (1924-1990) told the Anacortes American when she became the first female mayor of the city on this date in 1976. She had served three years on the Anacortes City Council when, under the council-city manager system, when she was elected mayor by her fellow council members. Bryant’s father, Joy Busha, was a Skagit County Commissioner. Her children remember her as a single mother with four kids and two jobs. She moved to Anacortes in 1955, the year she and May Carpenter were hired by Scott O. Richards as the city’s first female real estate agents. She opened Bryant’s Realty in 1964 and bought a Century 21 franchise in 1976, selling lots at Skyline by day and playing in Skyline Marina’s piano bar at night. She received the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Woman of the Community Award in 1980.

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