Voters in Alexandria will choose from fourteen (14!!) candidates for six spots on the City Council. The six Democrats selected tomorrow will run in the general election in November. Republicans won 2 of 6 seats in the last Alexandria election, so Democrats really need to field six good candidates to sweep the Council back in November.
I've got more than six candidates that I like, so I'm listing all the best choices below with the six that will get my vote in bold:
Paul Smedberg- longtime incumbent. Good on many issues, very progressive. Inactive campaign and taking the election for granted. Was inclined to vote for him, but others with more energy have moved past him.
John Chapman- lots of attention given to him being head of Alexandria NAACP, but I think what sets John apart is his connection with young professionals around the City and his commitment to public schools. Will get one of my six votes.
Alison Silberberg- By far the coolest background of any of the candidates, and is very driven by constituent service type issues. Would be an asset with any other group of Councilmembers. Will get one of my six votes.
Sammie Moshenberg- Endorsed by a number of liberal groups that I respect, and seemed very smart when I talked with her. Troubled by the lack of activity I've seen from her campaign.
Justin Wilson- Former Councilman who lost seat to GOP in last election. Heard from a lot of people that was because of an "arrogance" issue- something I remember seeing when we were both in the YD's together 10+ years ago. That having been said, I think he had the issues right when he was on Council, and I'm going to vote to give him another chance.
Victoria Menjivar- Great personal story and seems like a very good advocate on education and growth issues.
Melissa Feld- One of the most active campaigns, but she doesn't have endorsements from the groups that are breaking the candidates into two different factions. Which sounds good to me, we don't need any "slates" running local governments, its good to have smart people look at issues independently. Will get one of my six votes.
Sean Holihan- Sean's taken a lot of beating for running for Council after recently moving to the City, but I think that could be a useful perspective on things. Will get one of my six votes.
Boyd Walker- He looks sort of homeless on his campaign lit, but he's a very smart and engaging personality. If Boyd gets elected he won't "go along" with anything, he will ask tough questions and take unpopular positions. With six at-large seats, Boyd will be a welcome addition asking those tough questions, even if he doesn't win many votes or style points. Will get one of my six votes.
Donna Fossum- reminds me of a female Bob Brink in a lot of ways. Lots of substance here.
Tim Lovain- Former Councilman, best summed up as zzzzzzzzzz. If you want someone who won't do anything interesting, but will keep the City running this is your guy.
I'm not profiling all the candidates, the ones not listed here are really not worthy of your consideration in a field with so much other talent.