Andrew Macdonald is “seriously considering” challenging Bill Euille in November’s mayoral election, the former Alexandria vice mayor announced Thursday night.
Macdonald, who was elected to City Council in 2003 as a Democrat, said if he runs it will be as an independent. He made the announcement at a meeting of the Alexandria Republican City Committee.
“We need a change in leadership—a significant change,” Macdonald said to great applause in the Minnie Howard School auditorium.
Over the last year, Macdonald has been a leading voice in the opposition of the city’s waterfront redevelopment plan. He cofounded Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan, which on Tuesday hosted a party to raise legal fees for the citizens seeking to squelch city efforts to rezone parts of the riverside, allowing development such as hotels.
Council passed the waterfront plan on Saturday, but not the rezoning amendment because it is tied up in legal issues. Frank Fannon and Alicia Hughes—both in attendance at the ARCC meeting Thursday—voted against the plan.
“I’m going to run in the middle,” Macdonald said. “I think it’s best for me and best for the community.”
After Macdonald’s remarks, former councilman Bill Cleveland stood up and said, “Andrew, I’m voting for anybody but Bill Euille.”
Macdonald, 57, said he needs to wait and see if there’s enough support for a campaign before he officially enters the race. He hopes to make a decision by the end of April.
In 2000, the Alexandria native ran a failed bid for council as an independent. He was elected to council in 2003 as a Democrat and received the most votes among candidates in 2006, earning the title of vice mayor. Then he abruptly resigned halfway through the term citing personal reasons.
Alexandria Democratic Committee Chairman Dak Hardwick said Thursday night that Macdonald re-upped his membership with the ADC in December.
But in statements made after the passage of the waterfront plan, Macdonald said he believed the Democrats on council had lost the confidence of the citizenry.
“We wish him well, but we elect Democrats in Alexandria and we elect good ones,” Hardwick said.
Also at Thursday’s meeting, Phil Cefaratti, a realtor with Weichert who ran a failed bid for council in 2009, said he’s likely to make another run.