The gubernatorial race isn't close to being over yet, but local Republicans are already lining up to take on the sitting all-Democrat Alexandria City Council in the municipal elections on May 2.

Declared candidates include local lobbyist and ardent letter-to-the-editor writer Townsend A. Van Fleet and the always entertaining Pat Troy, owner of Ireland's Own restaurant and booster of the city's St. Patrick's Day parade, among other accomplishments.

Other possible Republican contenders include Alexandria native Lisa Marie Cheney -- the defense consultant who took on the Jim Moran machine last year as a candidate for the 8th Congressional District seat -- and former council member and current Republican candidate for sheriff William C. Cleveland, should he lose in November.

But enough about the Alexandria GOP.

The most intriguing thing we heard this week was a possible exodus from the Alexandria School Board in the aftermath the board's much-criticized handling of the drunken driving arrest of Schools Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry last year. After the arrest, the board allowed Perry to keep her job and even gave her a raise. As many as six of the nine current board members might not run, we hear.

Stay tuned.

A Lighter Mayor Euille Sees Great Gain in Loss

Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille (D) says he isn't one to give advice that he wouldn't himself follow -- particularly when it comes to espousing healthful living.

Thus, the mayor has embarked on a very public fitness program targeted both at shaving off the pounds and gearing up for a Healthy Alexandria initiative, which we're told could be unveiled as early as this month.

Euille, a fixture at the East Monroe Avenue YMCA, where he serves on the board of directors, has taken on a new role as the gym's first celebrity makeover case.

On May 3 Euille turned 55, and he says he is committed to a program at the Y that has him meeting twice-weekly with a personal trainer. His goal? To shed 10 pounds in three months from what was a 238-pound frame.

Always the overachiever, Euille said he slimmed down by 10 pounds in just eight weeks. And as of Sept. 1, the mayor was weighing in at a considerably leaner 217 pounds.

His stats are recorded on a poster in the lobby of the gym in case you want to keep really close tabs.

Euille said the city initiative will include community outreach and education to encourage residents to be more active and to lose weight.

Just like their mayor.

"In order for me to preach this message, I need to be leading by example," Euille said.

If you need us, we'll be out jogging.

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