Alexandria’s Democratic primary is still 10 weeks away, but as the mayoral race between incumbent Allison Silberberg and Vice Mayor Justin Wilson heats up, a dozen candidates are seeking the party’s nomination for six city council seats.
The mayor’s race will likely absorb much of the public attention in the spring, but the 12 council candidates — including four incumbents — could also stage a lively race in the heavily-Democratic city. The number of candidates this year nearly matches the 14 who sought the party’s nomination in the 2012 free-for-all.
The primary election is June 12. All six seats are for three-year terms. Many candidates have not filed robust campaign contribution and spending reports, so handicapping those with the most support is difficult at this early stage.
But the newcomers will face incumbents Willie Bailey, John T. Chapman, Redella “Del” Pepper and Paul Smedberg. Incumbent Tim Lovain is not seeking reelection, and Wilson is trying to move up to the mayor’s post.
The challengers are: Canek Aguirre, a community advocate who is chair of the local Economic Opportunities Commission and board president of the Tenants and Workers United; Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, co-director of the nonprofit Together We Bake and co-leader of the local Women’s Round Table; Matthew Feely, a Navy veteran and adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University; Dak Hardwick, former chair of the local Democratic committee and the local chamber of commerce; J. Chris Hubbard, who does not appear to have an online presence; Amy Jackson, a former Fairfax County teacher who is a lifelong Alexandria community activist; Robert Ray, owner of an Old Town antiques store and a neighborhood activist; and Mo Seifeldein, an attorney who serves on the Community Criminal Justice Board.
One Republican, Kevin Dunne, a member of the city’s Beautification Commission and a board member of VeloCity Bicycle Cooperative, will run in the November general election. Independents have until 7 p.m. June 12 to file their intent to run.