WASHINGTON — Challenger Justin Wilson defeated sitting first-term incumbent Allison Silberberg in an upset Tuesday in the Democratic primary for mayor.
With 100 percent of precincts in the city reporting results as of 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wilson led Silberberg 52.87 percent to 47.13 percent.
Wilson, a member of the Alexandria City Council, currently serves as the city’s vice mayor.
At an election night victory party in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood, Wilson said Silberberg had called to congratulate him on a hard-fought campaign.
“She was extremely gracious and offered her congratulations for this great victory,” Wilson told supporters. “While we clearly had very real differences in this race, differences on important issues before our community, I never doubted Allison’s commitment for our city.”
Amid otherwise modest or low turnout for primary races across Virginia, the races for Alexandria mayor and city council appear to have sparked interest among voters.
Early numbers appeared to show higher-than-usual turnout — an indication that voters were engaged in a campaign that turned heavily on local issues such as development, parking and controversial design changes in the planned Potomac Yards Metro station.
In a tweet Tuesday night, Silberberg thanked her supporters. “It was a very close race,” she said. We made our voices heard on important issues, and those voices will continue to matter.”
Silberberg, who was elected in 2015, said serving as mayor was the honor of her life.
2 incumbents lose seats in city council
Voters in Alexandria also weighed in on their choices for six city council seats, giving two sitting council members the boot.
Ina crowded field of 12 Democratic candidates, newcomer Elizabeth Bennett-Parker was the top vote-getter with more than 13 percent of the vote. Incumbent John Taylor Chapman had nearly 12 percent of the vote. The remaining four candidates who appeared to have enough votes to advance to the general election are Mo Seifeldein, Del Pepper, Canek Aguirre, Amy Jackson.
First-term council member Willie Bailey and council veteran Paul Smedberg, who was first elected to the council in 2003, failed to earn enough votes to advance.
In heavily Democratic Alexandria, the victors in the primary regularly win office in November.
WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report.
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