Baker’s dozen: 12 Dems, 1 GOPer crowd Alexandria City Council race

WASHINGTON — If two’s company and three’s a crowd, the Alexandria City Council race could be a raucous party.

Twelve Democrats and one Republican are vying for the six, three-year City Council seats in Alexandria, Virginia, June 12. That includes four incumbents: Willie Bailey, John T. Chapman, Redella “Del” Pepper and Paul Smedberg.

Councilman Tim Lovain is not seeking reelection.

The players

Canek Aguirre
Canek Aguirre is a Los Angeles native and the son of Mexican immigrants. A community advocate, Aguirre was appointed to the Virginia Board of Social Work by former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. He serves on multiple local boards including: Chair of the City of Alexandria’s Economic Opportunities Commission, President of the Tenants and Workers United (TWU) Board of Directors and Vice Chairman of the Health Systems Agency of Northern Virginia (HSANV). He is on the Leadership Council for the Alexandria Campaign on Adolescent Pregnancy (ACAP) and the Steering Committee for the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria.

On the issues

Aguirre’s platform focuses on affordable housing for Alexandrians, public education and health care.

Willie Bailey

Willie Bailey is a Northern Virginia native and has been on the Alexandria City Council since 2016. He served in the U.S. Army for 21 years and he has been a firefighter in Fairfax County for 26 years, rising in the ranks to Battalion Chief.

Bailey serves on the following local boards: Local Emergency Planning Committee, INOVA Alexandria Hospital Task Force, Eisenhower Partnership Board of Directors, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Air Quality Committee, Alexandria Economic Opportunities Commission, and Alexandria Works! Coalition, Library Board, Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission, and the Community Policy and Management Team.

On the issues

Bailey’s platform focuses on affordable housing, budget priorities, public safety and strategic development for Alexandria.

Elizabeth Bennett-Parker

Elizabeth Bennett-Parker is an Alexandria native. She helps lead a program called Together We Bake, a nonprofit that gives women in need workforce training to increase their chances of succeeding in the food in service industries. She also founded Fruitcycle in 2014, now part of Together We Bake, with the goal of preventing food waste and feeding Americans.

On the issues

Bennett-Parker’s platform focuses on job creation in Alexandria, education and affordable housing.

John Taylor Chapman

John Taylor Chapman is a fourth-generation Alexandria native running for reelection. In addition to being a councilman, he works on Alexandria Public School Board’s Budget Advisory Committee and the Alexandria Public Schools’ Special Education Advisory Committee. He is also a small-business owner — founder of the Manumission Tour Company — with an eye on Alexandria’s tourism industry.

On the issues

Chapman’s platform focuses on education, small business, affordable housing and economic development in Alexandria.

Matt Feely

Matt Feely is a U.S. Navy veteran with 22 years in the service. He has lived in Alexandria since 2006 and proclaims a fierce love for the City. He works as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University.

On the issues

Feely’s platform is centered around “fixing” Alexandria’s finances, public safety, education and general infrastructure.

Dak Hardwick

Dak Hardwick is the Assistant Vice President for International Affairs at the Aerospace Industries Association. He specializes in trade and export policy for the aerospace and defense sector. Hardwick also serves on the City’s Budget and Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee.

On the issues

Hardwick’s platform is focused on bolstering Alexandria’s community and economy.

Chris Hubbard

Chris Hubbard is an architect who purports to make “evidence-based” architectural decisions. He proclaims “a background in complementary and alternative evidence-based medicine.”

As a planner, Hubbard “views disinvestment in central cities, the spread of placeless sprawl, increasing separation by race and income, environmental deterioration, loss of agricultural lands and wilderness, and the erosion of societies built heritage as one interrelated community-building challenge.”

On the issues

Hubbard’s platform is focused on housing, education and lifestyle.

Amy Jackson

Amy Jackson is a longtime Alexandria resident and former teacher. She and her campaign team “look forward to feeding the seagulls and ducks along the Old Town waterfront, pointing out the Masonic Temple as they drive by the landmark, and frequenting the Del Ray and Old Town restaurants.”

She is an activist and is involved in The Alexandria Commission for Women, Commissioner; The Fund for Alexandria’s Child, Chair of the Advisory Council; Alexandria Human Trafficking Initiative, Chair; The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, Committee Member; Senior Services of Alexandria, Board Member; Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum (Mortar & Pestle Society), Board Member; The John Alexander Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Chapter Member; Alexandria Democratic Committee, Deputy Precinct Captain; Alexandria Human Rights Commission, Community Activist; Alexandria Landlord and Tenant Relations Board, Former Commissioner.

On the issues

Jackson is focused on expanding the tax base, in particular to get more money for first-responders, revitalizing Alexandria’s economy and making sure that the City has a safe and inclusive community.

Del Pepper

Del Pepper is an Omaha, Nebraska, native who chairs Alexandria’s Facilities Naming Committee and represents the Council on the Alexandria Commission on Aging. She co-chairs the Alexandria Works! Coalition and the Eco-City Alexandria Environmental Action Plan Steering Committee. Del represents the City Council on several regional committees. Del is a former President of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Corporation, and currently serves as the Mayor’s alternate to the COG Board. Del represents the City Council on COG’s Air Quality Committee (MWAQC), where she earlier served as the chair and presently serves as the vice chair. She serves as the Council’s representative on COG’s Climate, Energy and Environment Policy Committee, (CEEPC). Pepper represents the Council on Northern Virginia Regional Commission, where she earlier served as the Treasurer and as chair of its Operations Committee.

On the issues

Del’s website lists a series of memberships and kudos, though no actual information is listed.

Robert Ray

Robert Ray is an Alexandria native, teacher and small business owner. He proclaims to have served on the boards of two civic associations been involved in charitable and educational organizations as well as having taught GED to inmates at the city jail and serving on the Council of his church.

On the issues

Ray’s platform is focused on the environment, parks and urban policy.

Mohamed “Mo” Seifeldein

Mohamed “Mo” Seifeldein is a Sudanese immigrant worked as a court-appointed lawyer for those who could not afford their own attorney.

On the issues

Seifeldein’s platform is focused on education, business growth, transportation and education.

Paul C. Smedberg

Paul Smedberg has served on the City council since 2003. He serves on the following boards and committees: the City’s Pension Subcommittee, the Waterfront Commission, Inova Alexandria Hospital Task Force and with the Mayor co-chairs the Legislative Subcommittee of Council. He is also a part of the WMATA Board of Directors. He has been an Alexandria resident for nearly 30 years.

On the issues

Smedberg’s platform is focused on Alexandria’s economy, quality of life, education, transportation and government efficiency.

On the Republican side

Kevin Dunne is the lone Republican running for Alexandria City Council.

The Alexandria GOP will determine his candidacy.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up