Casper City Councilwoman Amanda Huckabay resigned her office this week because of family and professional reasons, she said in an email to Council on Friday.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances with my previous employer and issues with my daughter being severely bullied, I have made the decision to relocate to St. George, Utah, with my fiancé,” states a copy of the email.
Huckabay says in the email that she has also lost passion for activist work because “the warrior energy I have embodied during my life seems to have disappeared and I am transitioning into a healing energy.”
Attempts to contact the former councilwoman Friday were unsuccessful.
City Council members received the email from Huckabay on Friday afternoon, confirmed Councilwoman Kenyne Humphrey.
Humphrey estimated it will be at least a month before a new council member is appointed. Council members will advertise the opening and then pick the new candidate themselves.
“I think the biggest challenge is that it takes a while for new council members to get up to speed, but that’s just the way the process works,” Humphrey said.
Vice Mayor Charlie Powell said he’s confident the Council will find a strong replacement.
“We’ve been through this before,” he explained. “Each time it’s been a challenge, but we’ve also been able to see the quality of the people who have stepped forward.”
Former Ward II Councilman Todd Murphy abruptly resigned almost a year ago, citing personal reasons. He was replaced by currently Councilman Dallas Laird.
Huckabay represented Ward 1 and was elected in part for her advocacy for sexual assault survivors. She was a member of the Wyoming Women Warriors, a local group that started last year to empower victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
The group partially formed as a result of anger regarding how local police were handling sexual assault cases. Sexual assault survivors-including Huckabay, who was then a private citizen- started appearing at City Council meetings more than a year ago to share concerns about how their cases were managed.
Among their criticisms: The prosecution process was too slow, obtaining updates was difficult and officers did not take their cases seriously enough.
Huckabay has met with the police department on multiple occasions to push for change since her election in November 2016.
“I just want to thank her for her voice and her efforts,” Warriors founder Aimee Kidd said Friday.
Huckabay’s experience with sexual assault led to a heated feud with Councilman Jesse Morgan last summer. During a City Council work session in August, Huckabay lashed out at Morgan when he stated he had heard from law enforcement officials that bar patrons in Casper tend to become overly intoxicated.
Morgan had learned this information while attending a community panel on sexual assault, which led Huckabay to conclude he was connecting assault with alcohol consumption. The councilman fiercely denied this assumption, but the feud escalated after Huckabay posted about the incident on social media.
Laird said Friday that he admired the former councilwoman’s ”fearless” spirit and will miss working with her on the Council.
“This was a very difficult decision for me to leave the political scene in Wyoming, especially since I was recently solicited by the National Libertarian Party to run for State Legislature, which I also declined,” Huckabay said in her email. “I am proud of the work we have accomplished in our time together and I am saddened to leave.”