Alexandria: A Party Divided

Alexandria: A Party Divided

Democratic unity in Alexandria uncertain as Euille weighs options.

One week after the Democratic primary, questions linger about whether or not incumbent William Euille will challenge Democratic candidate Allison Silberberg as a write-in. While on the surface local Democrats have rallied behind Silberberg’s nomination as Democratic candidate for mayor, Euille’s reluctance to yield the position casts doubts.

On June 9, Silberberg won the three-way Democratic primary by 312 votes over Euille. Following the release of the election results, Silberberg immediately received the vocal support of opponent Kerry Donley, who said the party needed to remain united for November’s election. However, an endorsement from Euille was not as forthcoming, and the incumbent mayor announced that he would take the weekend to deliberate on whether or not to orchestrate a write-in campaign.

The Alexandria Democratic Committee (ADC) released a statement of unity on June 16, including comments from both Silberberg and Euille. Silberberg thanked her opponents and emphasized the need to set aside differences as the party moves forward to the November election. In the statement released by the ADC, Euille congratulated Silberberg on securing the Democratic nomination.

“I will continue to do my job as mayor, as there is much unfinished business to work on collaboratively until Jan. 1, 2016,” read Euille’s statement. “I look forward to continuing the fight for a great quality of life, exceptional schools and safe communities that we have found to know in my beloved hometown of Alexandria.”

However, the statement does not explicitly rule out the possibility of a write-in campaign. Clarence Tong, chair of the ADC, said he believes a write-in campaign is unlikely.

“I spoke to the mayor directly and he said he wasn’t actively pursuing a write-in campaign,” said Tong. “He was going to listen to what his supporters say, but talking to his team it didn’t sound like something they’re actively engaging in.”

The day after the election, a twitter account called “Write-In Euille” was launched. One week after the election, the account has 57 tweets, predominantly cryptic quotes from the mayor regarding the possibility of a write-in campaign, and 118 followers. In the account description, the page notes it is not affiliated with “Euille for Mayor,” and for his part, Euille says he is not associated with any write-in campaign.

“I, myself, am not personally engaged in a write-in campaign,” said Euille, noting that he wants to continue focusing on leading Alexandria as mayor until his term expires. However, Euille has also not followed Donley in supporting Silberberg. “I have not decided whether or not to endorse Allison Silberberg for mayor,” he said.