Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille (D) kicked off his re-election campaign Sunday at Mango Mike’s saying the city has made great strides in his three terms in office but “there’s still a lot of work left to be done.”
In front of a bar area filled with many of the Democratic candidates involved in Tuesday’s primary, Euille spoke of keeping Alexandria competitive in the region, improving the school system and working for affordable housing.
He was joined on stage by former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) and Alexandria Vice Mayor Kerry Donley.
“If we’re not competitive in the Washington metro region, we’ll be left behind,” Euille said. “It’s great to see that we’re , but we need to be the No. 1 city in terms of a public school system.”
Affordable housing as been a big issue of discussion this election season in Alexandria, and Euille said it was one of his greatest concerns. He mentioned being “born with nothing” in Alexandria and working to give back as much as he can.
He recalled working with the developers of Potomac Yard for a contribution of affordable housing, whether it be money or dedicated units in the development. When the Alexandria Fire Department said it needed a new fire station in Potomac Yard, the developers agreed to donate the money for a station thinking they could forgo the affordable housing contribution.
“I said ‘Hell no.' Now we have 64 dedicated workforce housing units above that fire house. … We need to continue being visionaries and thinking out of the box [for projects] like that,” Euille said.
Kaine and Moran spoke of Euille’s passion and effectiveness.
“Alexandria has continued to prosper and grow and it takes a local governing body that really loves its city,” Moran said. “It takes a mayor that really cares.”
Euille made a few mentions of opponent , who he will face in the Nov. 6 General Election.
Another native Alexandrian, Macdonald was elected to City Council in 2003 and 2006 as a Democrat, taking the most votes among candidates in the 2006 race and earning the title of vice mayor. He resigned 18 months into his second term for personal reasons.
“This is about leadership,” Euille said. “My opponent was elected, served and then didn’t complete his term. That isn’t going to be me. … Believe me, I’m up to the challenge. I’ll put on the boxing gloves if I have to, but we’re going to run a clean campaign.”