Holihan joins Democratic pack in city council race

Sean Holihan

West End resident Sean Holihan has joined the herd of Democrats running for an Alexandria City Council seat.

A Long Island native, Holihan, 30, has lived in Alexandria for just over three years but has been active in Virginia politics for several. He’s worked for state Sen. George Barker, delegates Lynwood Lewis Jr., Bob Brink, and former Delegate Brian Moran.

Despite his experience Holihan said running for council is not a stepping-stone to a statewide seat. He believes he can best effect change at a local level.

“The less constituents you have, the more of a direct impact you have on those people,” Holihan said. “Nothing has more impact than being a city council member.”

The Democrat wants to create a more civically engaged city, where all backgrounds — income levels and race — feel like they have a voice in citywide decisions on issues like development and education, he said. Specifically, he’d like to see the International Baccalaureate program implemented throughout the public school system.

Holihan supports the City Hall-created waterfront plan that opponents say focuses too heavily on commercializing the Potomac shoreline.  He admits it “paints the same target on my back as it does on current council members’ ” but believes opponents have been irresponsible in disseminating false information about the size and scope of the plan.

Holihan, communications manager for NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, lives with his partner Danny Barefoot. He joins current council members Del Pepper and Paul Smedberg and challengers Tim Lovain, Justin Wilson and Charles Sumpter Jr. in the Democratic primary scheduled for June 12.



  1. I wish Sean had taken more time to consult with both sides and consult with more citizens in the community before deciding to support the city’s waterfront plan. In the last two nights, Frank Fannon has pledged to vote against the plan, and both Old Town Civic and Seminary Hill support voting against the plan. I think anyone running for city council should look at both sides of the issue. I have no doubt that he did some research but if he can be so easily swayed by pressure from one side, which I am sure was tremendous. So far, I am the only Democratic Counil Candidate who is not supporting the hotel development plan on the waterfront. I wish other Democrats would listen to the citizens of Alexandria, and one of the best places to do this is at civic association meetings.

  2. Boyd,

    Between you throwing your chips in with the Washington Times and praising Republican Frank Fannon, I’m starting to wonder if maybe you are confused. Just as an FYI Republicans are having a caucus to elect their slate of candidates and they still have three slots to fill. I hear they are looking for more candidates.

    You may have missed this memo but If you are in fact running in the Democratic Primary, our goal is to send Frank Fannon home in November.

  3. This is HILARIOUS! “Not using county council seat as a stepping stone to a statewide seat” LOL, give me a break! The smugness and phoniness is palpable

    And what exactly are his qualifications besides being a mediocre General Assembly employee? and working for a series of losing campaigns? Did he even go to college let alone finish? or is he hoping to skate by on good looks?

    Yet another pathetic politico, who has gotten lucky with a few jobs in Richmond, no record of leadership or accomplishment, Who was an extremely ineffective and divisive Virginia Young Democrats president, that made fundraising the last priority and made crony appointments (just like every other phony politico who thinks he is something special)……wonder why Mr Holihan isnt touting that part of his resume?? everyone that ever met him knew he was always drooling to run for office when he moved to Alexandria a couple of years ago

    Alexandria deserves better than this failure in every sense, academically and politically