Alexandria’s Democrats will once again control City Hall.
Incumbent Democrat Bill Euille was re-elected to a fourth term as mayor early Wednesday morning when the final numbers rolled in, while the party’s slate of council candidates claimed all six seats.
Euille topped independent challenger Andrew Macdonald by almost 20 points, taking 59.53 percent of the vote.
First-time candidate Allison Silberberg was the leading vote getter in the council field, earning 12.30 percent of the vote and the title of vice mayor.
Silberberg was followed by incumbent Del Pepper (11.77 percent), first-time candidate John Taylor Chapman (11.28 percent), former council members Justin Wilson (10.55 percent) and Tim Lovain (10.52 percent) and incumbent Paul Smedberg (10.04 percent).
The election marked a return to one-party rule in the city, which last elected a full slate of Democrats in the May 2006 municipal elections.
Tuesday marked the first time local elections shared the ballot with national races, and Alexandria’s Democratic candidates benefitted from the support of voters who went to the polls to help President Obama reclaim Virginia and the White House, re-elect U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) and to help former Democratic governor Tim Kaine defeat Republican George Allen in the state’s U.S. Senate race.
A strong sample ballot effort from the Alexandria Democratic Committee certainly helped push its candidates over the top.
ADC Chair Dak Hardwick praised the slate of council candidates for "doing the hard work" to earn the most votes in a 12-candidate field.
"The people who went to the polls [on Tuesday] voted for candidates committed to moving this city forward and have talked to more voters over a longer period of time than we can remember," Hardwick said at the Alexandria Democratic Committee’s watch party at the Alley Cat Restaurant and Lounge in the West End. "We've been talking to voters since January."
Incumbent Alicia Hughes, running for the first time as a Republican after being elected as an independent in 2009, finished seventh with 8.54 percent of the vote. She finished 4,466 votes behind Smedberg for the final seat.
Hughes was followed by incumbent Republican Frank Fannon (8.52 percent) and Republican Bob Wood (7.94 percent).
Fannon spent $74,717 on his campaign according to the Virginia Public Access Project, the most of any council candidate and more than Euille and Macdonald.
Independent Glenda Davis finished with 3.50 percent of the vote, while Libertarian Robert Kraus followed with 2.64 percent. Independent Jermaine Mincey finished last in the field with 1.92 percent of the vote.
Hardwick said that just because Mayor Euille and the newly-elected council all have D’s next to their names doesn’t mean they have the same opinion on every issue.
“That’s very typical of this party,” Silberberg said. “It’s a big tent.”
Silberberg earned broad appeal by earning endorsements from longtime city Democrats like Patsy Ticer, while also appealing to the city’s anti-waterfront redevelopment movement. Silberberg is opposed to the city’s redevelopment plan.
“Each person got support in different ways,” she said. “I’ve tried to speak from the heart on all the issues. … I’m dedicated to ensuring that Alexandria remains historical and remarkable for years to come. That’s why I took that position on the waterfront.”
Many Democrats said Tuesday night that the election offered proof that the vision for the city set forth by Euille and the party is in fact the right one.
“This election is further vindication of the Democratic leadership in the city and the positive diection the city is moving,” current Vice Mayor Kerry Donley said.
The new city council will be sworn into office in early January.