Letter to the Editor: A primer for elections in Alexandria

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To the editor:

With all the hoopla about national politics, it may have escaped some voters’ notice that Alexandria’s entire city council is up for election in less than two months. It’s not too soon to start familiarizing yourself with the candidates and, especially if you’re a newcomer, the process involved.

We elect council members at-large, rather than by ward or district. There are nine candidates on the ballot – six Democrats, two Republicans and one Independent – though party affiliation will not appear on the ballot. Each voter can vote for up to six candidates. And six will be elected, whether or not you use all six of your votes.

I think it’s important to vote a complete, straight Democratic ballot – senator, congressman, mayor and council. Democrats have nominated a diverse slate that includes more women than ever before. There’s a mix of black, white, Latino and even a refugee from Sudan and several newcomers as well as some seasoned veterans. They have one thing in common: they all share the Alexandria and Democratic values of fairness, openness, compassion and good government. While many issues in local government aren’t partisan in nature, sharing those core values makes city government run smoother.

So, get to know the candidates before the election and I’m sure you’ll want to support all of them. But if you don’t have time to do that, be sure to ask for the Democratic sample ballot on election day, where the Democrats will be identified.

-Tom Osborne, Alexandria

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