Alexandria, VA – In the span of a week in late March, three people gathered the required signatures, registered to be on the ballot and announced their candidacy for mayor of Alexandria. Vying to win the November 2021 election are the incumbent Justin Wilson, former mayor Allison Silberberg, and newcomer Annetta Catchings.
Justin Wilson has served as mayor since 2018. In a March 25 email, he asked for the support of residents as he eyes a second term.
“We are in a unique and challenging moment for our City. Our success has never been assured,” he wrote. “It has been created through generations of leaders who have placed the City’s future first.”
Wilson pointed out the achievements of his first term, in the face of the pandemic. They include supporting of residents and small businesses, investing in infrastructure to improve the local economy, and helping children reach their potential.
Wilson stated that as the economy improves, he will seek to “define a new model of inclusive growth that repairs the persistent racial inequities in our City.”
Allison Silberberg served as Alexandria’s mayor from 2015 to 2018.
When asked why she is running, Silberberg told The Zebra Press, “Our city deserves better. We have so much going for us as a city.”
Silberberg originally said she would not run in January. She changed her mind at the urging of residents, after learning that there we no challengers for the Democratic Primary at that time.
In a statement released March 26, Silberberg spoke of her “alternate vision” for the city.
“My vision includes the long-treasured promise that Alexandria is a growing, vibrant community that will retain its prized, small-town feel. Our city must thrive and do so with respect for our diverse people and neighborhoods, respect for our environment, respect for our numerous historic districts, and perhaps most importantly, respect for the critical role that trust plays in government.”
On March 22, Alexandria resident Annetta Catchings announced her candidacy for mayor of Alexandria as a Republican. If elected, she would be the first Black female to hold the office.
Catchings said that friends and work colleagues urged her to run for numerous reasons, including education and housing affordability. She aims to put the concerns of citizens first.
“Addressing broken promises to fix flooding in our city isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue. Getting our kids back into classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue,” she said. “These are concerns impacting all residents, regardless of party affiliation.”
Catchings is confident that her on-the-job leadership skills and life experience will serve her well.
An Election Note
The Democratic Primary will be held June 8. Both Republicans and Democrats can vote in the Primary. The winner on June 8 will face the Republican challenger. Early voting begins April 23.
[Editor’s Note: The Zebra Press is a nonpartisan publication and makes no endorsements for any candidates.]