As Alexandrians begin to consider which of the 14 Democrats will be the party’s nominees for City Council after the June 12 primary, they have a lot of issues to weigh.
First and foremost is the year-long controversy over the redevelopment of the Alexandria waterfront, followed closely by the federal government’s assignment of 6,400 workers to the Mark IV Center at Seminary Road and Interstate 395 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Plenty of other redevelopment issues have fired up the electorate, from the pending massive redevelopment of the Beauregard neighborhoods, to a new apartment complex that triggered anger in Arlandria, to transportation options in Potomac Yards and the cost of housing for those of middle income or below. And while the City Council doesn’t control the schools, it controls the purse strings for the schools and residents are upset about controversies over spending in the school system’s capital improvement budget.
The biggest question may be one of trust, and whether the electorate believes its local representatives are listening and responding to their concerns. That question has been raised most notably by the Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan, but what’s not known is how wide and deep their support truly is.
(Warning before you follow the links in the next paragraph: Not all candidates have campaign Web sites yet, and not all keep them up to date in this era of Facebook and Twitter campaigns as well.)
The CAAWP co-founders are running for office.Boyd Walker is running for the council as a Democrat and Andrew Macdonald is running as an independent for mayor. Since incumbent Mayor William D. Euille (D) has no primary opposition, Macdonald’s strength will not be tested until the general election in November. Walker, though, will face incumbents Paul Smedberg and Del Pepper, as well as fellow challengers John Chapman, Melissa Feld, Donna Fossum, Michael A. Hepburn, Sean T. Holihan, Timothy Lovain, Vicky Menjivar, Sammie Moshenberg, Arthur E. Peabody Jr., Allison Silberberg and Justin Wilson.
Two incumbents, Kerry Donley and Rob Krupicka, are not running for re-election. Krupicka is running for the seat of David L. Englin in the Virginia House of Delegates in 2013.
Voters can start sorting them out Wednesday, when the Taylor Run and Clover-College Park civic associations will host a candidates’ forum at 7:30 p.m. at the George Washington Memorial Mason Building’s theater.
Republican incumbent Frank Fannon IV will be there, but Alicia Hughes will not attend; the Alexandria Republican City Committee will hold a party canvass on June 2 to select its candidates for council.
The Alexandria Democratic Committee has previously announced it will have two candidates’ nights, 7 p.m. May 9 at the Francis C. Hammond Middle School auditorium, and 7 p.m. June 4 at the George Washington Middle School auditorium. Both will be moderated by Bob Gibson, executive director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia.