Gaskins Wins Democratic Primary

Elnoubi, Greene join incumbents on November council ballot.

Aliya Gaskins, a first-term member of Alexandria City Council, defeated two opponents to win the Democratic nomination for mayor, virtually assuring her of victory in the November general election.

Running unopposed at this time, Gaskins would become the first Black female mayor of Alexandria.

“This has been an exciting night for our city,” Gaskins said at a victory party at Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant in Del Ray. “One of the great things about our community is that we have so many amazing people who are willing to put themselves out there and sacrifice to serve our community. Thank you to every candidate who put their name on the ballot. This is hard work but we do it because we love it.”

Gaskins defeated current vice Mayor Amy Jackson and retired real estate developer Steven Peterson, garnering 60 percent of the vote, or 9,160 votes, in the low-turnout election that saw just over 16 percent of registered voters casting a ballot. Jackson came in at 29 percent, or 4,483 votes, and Peterson 11 percent, with 1,710 votes.

“My vision is an Alexandria that is safe, affordable and accessible to all,” said Gaskins, who watched the returns come in at La Casa Restaurant in the West End. “I am committed to making the mayor’s office one that works for all of us and that amplifies resident voices to ensure all services are delivered equitably and urgently.”

Gaskins, 35, is a senior program officer at Melville Charitable Trust, an anti-homelessness foundation. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and has a Master of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Georgetown University.

Also on Tuesday’s ballot were 11 candidates vying for six spots on the Democratic slate for city council. With provisional ballots still outstanding, incumbents John Taylor Chapman, Sarah Bagley, Kirk McPike and Canek Aguirre will be joined by newcomers Abdel Elnoubi and Jacinta Greene on the November ballot. Elnoubi and Greene are currently members of the ACPS school board.

The Democrat nominees will face three other candidates — Republican Celianna Gunderson and independents Mason Butler and Roy Byrd — in the Nov. 5 general election. Democrats have held every seat on City Council since 2012.

Gaskins would succeed current Mayor Justin Wilson, who announced last year that he will not seek a third term.

“What tonight confirms is that so many people are excited about the progress this council has made, the progress the current mayor has led us through but that you are looking to us to do even more,” said Gaskins, whose father Wayne traveled from Florida to attend the election night celebration. “I am grateful to bring a new energy, a new leadership, a new way of working and a new team to get things done for you.”