Democrats for a Better Alexandria unveiled its list of endorsements in the race for City Council Thursday morning at the in Old Town after 11 of the 14 Democratic candidates completed questionnaires on time and were interviewed by members of the political action committee.
“We picked the six that seemed to fit the best in how we believe a better city can be achieved,” said Dorothea Peters, who co-chairs Democrats for a Better Alexandria with Jack Sullivan.
After what Sullivan categorized as an “extensive” process, the political action committee opted to endorse candidates , , , , and .
The committee posted the candidates’ completed questionnaires on its website.
PAC members said they sought to identify candidates committed to “a forward-looking set of priorities and practices” on issues of development, affordable housing, education and transparency in government.
“There were some differences of opinion,” Sullivan said of reaching a decision about the endorsements with the other dozen or so DBA members. “We have a lot of seasoned people who have been politically active for a long time.”
Sullivan said he is pleased the endorsed candidates all live in different parts of the city.
“There’s a good geographic spread, which wasn’t intentional,” he said. “[The slate] represents a major constituency, which is important because you don’t want everyone from the same side of town.”
Candidates and didn’t have time to complete the 37 questions sent out by the political action committee, Sullivan said. did not complete her questionnaire until after an extended deadline.
The PAC's announcement came just two days after Alexandrians for a Livable City, a new political action committee, unveiled its list of endorsements. The group lists Lynn Bostain, Robert Pringle, Ginny Hines Parry and Katy Cannady—a member of Citizens for an Alternative Alexandria Waterfront Plan—as its directors.
Alexandrians for a Livable City identified the city’s waterfront plan and Beauregard corridor plan as matters “illustrative of bad choices current Council members and some candidates for Council support,” according to a news release.
Based on the “public statements” of the 14 Democratic candidates and “their answers to questions put to them by citizens,” the group opted to endorse five candidates: , , Moshenberg, Peabody and Walker.
“None is an incumbent or past member of Council,” the group wrote in a release. “That reflects our strong belief that Alexandria needs new leadership.”
Incumbents and did not receive endorsements from either group. Wilson and Lovain, both former members of City Council, did receive nods from nods from DBA.
Voters can select as many as six candidates in the June 12 Democratic primary. Alexandrians for a Livable City urged voters to select only the five candidates it endorsed.
Another PAC is expected to unveil its list of endorsements in the next three weeks, according to former Alexandria Police Chief David Baker.
Baker is a member of Securing Alexandria’s Future, which also includes current City Councilmen Kerry Donley and Rob Krupicka (both are not seeking re-election) and former members David Speck and Lonnie Rich. All five have personally endorsed candidates in the race.
Baker said the PAC currently has about 20 total members.
The group has distributed its questionnaire to the Democratic candidates and will offer recommendations “on those candidates whom we believe to be most prepared to lead our city for the next three years,” Speck said in a release.
In a conversation with Patch, Baker said he intends to find out where the candidates stand on a variety of issues, from taxes and education to development and public safety.
“If you look at it, if you’re unable to go to the debates or happen to be one who’s door is not being knocked on, it’s a difficult decision,” Baker said. “This is our way of creating the best community conversation about the race.”