(Updated at 11:45 p.m.) The race for the next mayor of Alexandria has officially begun, sort of.
Last night, Vice Mayor Amy Jackson formally announced her candidacy to the Alexandria Democratic Committee (ADC), a rite of passage in Alexandria elected politics since the city has only ever elected a Republican mayor once, in 1872. Jackson’s opponent, City Council Member Alyia Gaskins, made her own announcement to the ADC on Dec. 2, and used the opportunity last night to announce her latest endorsements.
Jackson said that neither she nor Gaskins would likely be able to fill the shoes of outgoing Mayor Justin Wilson, but that she and her opponent would try “because we love Alexandria.”
“I made a commitment to our community a long time ago, in my youth and again, formally when I was elected to council,” Jackson said. “I promised I would continue to lead on several items of importance to our community, for our people and our programs, for our environmental, educational and economic growth, and align what’s important to our city’s welfare and our progressive values.”
Gaskins announced Tuesday that she’s been endorsed by former City Council Member Del Pepper and NOVA Labor. She said that she’s voted to make the city more equitable with her Zoning for Housing vote, as well as her vote ensuring collective bargaining rights to Alexandria firefighters and police — all measures that her opponent also voted in favor of.
Gaskins told the ADC last month that, if elected, she would be the first Black female mayor of Alexandria. The Pittsburgh native was elected to Council in 2021, and works as a public health strategist. She said she will launch her campaign at Indochen (4906 Brenman Park Drive) in Cameron Station at noon on Sunday, Jan. 28.
“We also know we’ve got some challenges that we have to fix — housing, infrastructure, safe schools, youth mental health and resilience,” Gaskins said. “This council has taken action and I have worked with each of you to take action as well.”
Jackson, a former Fairfax County Public Schools educator and administrator, was elected to the City Council in 2018 and became vice mayor in 2021. She’s an Alexandria native, having graduated from T.C. Williams High School, and has so far gotten the endorsement of fellow Titan, Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter, as well as Circuit Court Clerk Greg Parks, Virginia State Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-35), Del. Holly Seibold (D-35) and Prince William County Supervisor Andrea Bailey.
Jackson said that she supports a fully funded Alexandria City Public Schools system, and that the city “must strive to compensate our teachers and staff in a coordinated effort with ACPS collective bargaining procedures.”
“I think we can get that done for our teachers,” Jackson said.
Jackson will launch her campaign on Sunday, Jan. 21 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Doyles Outpost (4620A Kenmore Avenue).
The Democratic primary is June 18.
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