By Carla Branch

Newly elected Alexandria Mayor and City Council (Photo: Katie Smythe)

For the third consecutive election, Alexandria Democrats hold the Office of the Mayor and all six City Council seats. Voters also elected four incumbents to the Alexandria City School Board and five newcomers. Alexandria voters contributed heavily to U.S. Senator Tim Kaine's and U.S. Representative Don Beyer's resounding victories.

“Thank you Alexandria Democrats for making this an historic night,” Mayor Elect Justin Wilson told a crowd of well-wishers at last night’s Democratic watch party. “For the first time in history, Democrats have swept City Council for three consecutive elections. Also, we have elected the most diverse City Council ever and I am looking forward to getting to work with this amazing group.”

Alexandria City Council - 2018

Including Wilson, the new City Council is comprised of three women and four men; one African-American; one son of Mexican immigrants; and one Sudanese immigrant. Four are new to elected politics. Wilson ran unopposed for mayor, having defeated Mayor Allison Silberberg in the Democratic Primary in June. Elizabeth Bennett-Parker received the highest numbers of votes (43,887 or 16.3%) and will be Alexandria’s next vice mayor. Amy Jackson was second with 39,565 votes or 14.7%; Incumbent Councilman John Chapman was third with 37,597 votes or 13.9%; Incumbent Councilwoman Del Pepper was fourth with 36,416 votes or 13.5%; Canek Aguirre was fifth with 34,614 votes or 12.8%; and Mo Seifeldein was sixth with 34,080 votes or 12.6%.  

Alexandria City School Board

Alexandria voters elected nine School Board members, three from each of the three districts. Voters in School Board District A, which is the eastern part of Alexandria, chose three newcomers: Michelle Rief received 11,698 votes or 22.5%; Jacinta Greene got 10,024 votes or 19.2%; and Christopher Suarez received 9,151 votes or 17.6%. The three incumbents were returned to office in District B, the central part of the City. Veronica Nolan received 12,254 votes or 28%; Cindy Anderson got 10,487 votes or 24%; and Margaret Lorber received 10,248 votes or 23.4%. In District C, the West End of the City, two newcomers and one incumbent were elected. Newcomer Heather Thornton received 7,728 votes or 25.7%; newcomer Meagan Alderton got 7,048 votes or 23.4%; and current Board Chair Ramee Gentry received 5,286 votes or 17.6%.

The new City Council and School Board will take office in January.

School Board District A - 2018

School Board District B - 2018

School Board District C - 2018








Proposed Virginia Constitutional Amendment

Virginia voters were asked to consider two proposed Virginia Constitutional Amendments. Both were approved statewide and in Alexandria. On Question 1, Alexandria voters said “Yes” by a margin of 72% to 28%, whereas Virginians statewide approved the measure 71% to 29%. On Question 2, Alexandrians and Virginians statewide said “Yes” by a margin of 84% to 16%.

Question 1: Should a county, city, or town be authorized to provide a partial tax exemption for real property that is subject to recurrent flooding, if flooding resiliency improvements have been made on the property? 

Question 2: Shall the real property tax exemption for a primary residence that is currently provided to the surviving spouses of veterans who had a one hundred percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability be amended to allow the surviving spouse to move to a different primary residence and still claim the exemption?

At the Polls

Election Day at Mt Vernon Recreation Center (Photo: Katie Smythe)

Despite the heavy rain, Alexandria voters went to the polls yesterday in record numbers.

“Unofficially, including absentee ballots, 66,102 people voted in yesterday’s election,” said Alexandria General Registrar Anna Leider. “That is a voter turnout of 70%. In 2017, 52,363 or 57% of Active Registered Voters participated. We have approximately 350 provisional ballots that the Electoral Board must review.”

Some people complained on social media that City Council candidates were not identified by Party affiliation. “Every time we have a local election we have to remind voters that Virginia law prohibits the identification of local candidates by Party affiliation,” Leider said. “Every year, someone in the General Assembly proposes a change to that statute and every year it is defeated.”

Citywide, most precincts were steadily busy most of the day. “Our Election Day turnout was almost at the level of a presidential election,” Leider said. “The difference was the larger number of absentee ballots cast during the last presidential election.”

Leider said that there were no significant lines at the end of the day requiring polls to remain open after 7:00 p.m. “Everything went very smoothly,” she said.