By Olivia Anderson | [email protected]
Alexandria’s Tuesday general election produced an entirely Democratic council slate, including incumbent mayor Justin Wilson and incoming City Councilors Amy Jackson, Alyia Gaskins, John Chapman, Sarah Bagley, Canek Aguirre and Kirk McPike.
Voters elected Michelle Rief, Jacinta Greene and Willie Bailey for School Board District A; Ashley Simpson Baird, Kelly Carmichael Booz and Tammy Ignacio for District B; and Meagan Alderton, Abdel Elnoubi and W. Christopher Harris for District C.
Of the current 96,302 registered Alexandria voters, 26,156 had voted by 4 p.m. on Election Day without absentee ballots, or 26.12%, compared to 46.5% in 2018. With absentee ballots, by 4 p.m., voter turnout was 49,363, or 51.26%, compared to 57.89% in 2018, according to the Office of Voter Registration & Elections.
With 32 out of 33 precincts reporting as of the Times’ print deadline, Wilson earned 67.52% of the vote, 35,557 votes, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. His opponent, Republican Annetta Catchings, earned 31.07%, 16,364 votes, and 1.41%, 742 votes, went to write-ins.
Wilson won every precinct by at least 20%, with the exception of five precincts.
In the City Hall precinct, 50.77% of the votes went to Wilson and 46.92% to Catchings; in the Lyles Crouch School precinct, 56.15% went to Wilson and 42.14% to Catchings; in the Douglas MacArthur School precinct 57.31% went to Wilson and 41.52% to Catchings; in the Temple Beth El Synagogue precinct, 54.39% went to Wilson and 43.8% to Catchings; and in the Hermitage precinct, 57.87% went to Wilson and 40.08% to Catchings.
The Mount Vernon Recreation Center precinct had the widest margin, with 76.61% of the vote going to Wilson and 22.15% going to Catchings.
The City Council race was much tighter. Incumbent Amy Jackson, who will become the city’s next vice mayor, earned the most votes at 14.58%, 32,077 votes. As of Tuesday night, right behind Jackson came first-time candidate Alyia Gaskins at 14.18%, 31,213 votes. Then followed incumbent John Chapman at 13.98%, 30,761 votes; newcomer Sarah Bagley at 13.9%, 30,587 votes; incumbent Canek Aguirre at 12.36%, 27,208 votes; and newcomer Kirk McPike at 11.59%, 25,515 votes.
Comparatively, in 2018, Jackson earned 14.67% of the vote, Chapman earned 13.94% and Aguirre earned 12.83%.
Jackson earned the most votes in 12 precincts, the most of any council candidate. These include James K. Polk School, 15.64%; Chinquapin Park Recreation Center, 15.63%; Naomi L. Brooks School, 15.36%; Douglas MacArthur School, 15.29%; George Mason School, 15.14%; Charles Barrett Center, 14.95%; the Hermitage, 14.82%; Charles Beatley Library, 14.76%; Temple Beth El Synagogue, 14.55%; South Port, 14.38%; Alex Renew, 14.19%; Lee Center, 14.05% and Lyles Crouch School, 13.77%.
Gaskins won the next highest number of precincts, with 10. She also earned the second highest vote total for one candidate at any precinct, with 16.22% at the Cameron Station Community Center. Her other wins include Patrick Henry Recreation Center, 15%; George Washington Middle School, 14.86%; Charles Houston Center, 14.73%; Olympus Condo, 14.7%.; Potomac Yard, 14.7%; Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 14.69%; Samuel Tucker School, 14.56%; Cora Kelly, 14.53% and Nova Arts Center, 14.34%.
Despite coming in fourth place overall, Bagley received the most votes in more precincts than Chapman, who placed third overall. She secured John Adams School, 14.75%; the Ladrey Senior Building, 14.6%; William Ramsay School, 14.41% and Fire Department Headquarters, 14.11%.
Blessed Sacrament Church and the Durant Center precincts went to Chapman with 14.76% and 13.85%, respectively.
Republican candidate Darryl Nirenberg emerged victorious at the City Hall precinct with 16.92%, the highest vote percentage for one candidate at any precinct.
Nirenberg received only 8.72% of the overall vote though, 19,199 votes. Independent Florence King received 5.38%, or 11,832 votes, and independent Glenda Gail Parker received 4.44%, or 9,766 votes.
Meanwhile, in the School Board race, voters elected a variety of newcomers and incumbents for the three coveted spots in each district.
In District A, competition for the top three slots was extremely close, with incumbent Michelle Rief earning the most votes at 25.3%, 11,323 votes, as of the Times’ print deadline. Other elected members include incumbent Jacinta Greene with 25.2%, 11,277 votes, and former City Council member Willie Bailey with 21.07%, 9,427 votes. In 2018, Rief again earned the most votes at 22.45%, with Greene trailing behind at 19.24%.
District B contained seven candidates, the most of the three districts. Newcomer Ashley Simpson Baird landed the top slot with 19.87%, 7,794 votes, followed by candidates Kelly Carmichael Booz, who previously served on the board from 2013 to 2015, at 17.73%, 6,952 votes and Tammy Ignacio at 17.13%, 6,717 votes.
District C only included three candidates, incumbent School Board Chair Meagan Alderton and newcomers Abdel Elnoubi and W. Christopher Harris, all of whom inherently secured a spot on the board.
The new batch of City Council and School Board members will be sworn in at a ceremony in January.