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Democrats In Alexandria Celebrate City, State Wins

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Democrat Mayor Bill Euille participates in an Ethiopian ceremony celebrating Democrats' victory in Alexandria on election night.
Michael Pope
Democrat Mayor Bill Euille participates in an Ethiopian ceremony celebrating Democrats' victory in Alexandria on election night.

Democrats swept local races in Alexandria as two Republican incumbents — Alicia Hughes and Frank Fannon — were defeated and voters chose a wholly Democratic ticket for mayor and City Council. 

Independent candidate for mayor Andrew Macdonald, a former Democrat, lost to Democratic Mayor Bill Euille. 

"Well I think we showed there are an awful lot of people in Alexandria that are really concerned about the direction that the city is taking, and that's something the next city government is going to have to take into account," Macdonald said Tuesday night.

Euille, for his part, said he heard those concerns.

"I will make certain that everyone will be inclusive as part of our decision-making process moving forward," the mayor said. "And I will make certain that even Andrew, someone that I have a lot of respect for, will be part of that process."

The new slate of Democratic members may have implications for the city's waterfront redevelopment plan. Democrats will now have a supermajority on the Alexandria City County, which would undercut a court challenge calling for the plan to be implemented only under a supermajority vote.

Democrats in Alexandria were also celebrating big victories in the presidential race and at the state level. President Obama took Virginia for the second time, and Tim Kaine defeated Republican George Allen in the race for Virginia's open U.S. Senate seat.

Rediet Melesse was so excited, she could barely contain herself, waiving her sign around as Barack Obama was announced as the winner of the presidential election.

"It says, 'whadaffit.' It's a direct translation for 'forward,'" she says. And here in Alexandria, Ethiopians, we all voted for Obama, and we're all going to go 'whadaffit.'" 

Democratic Alexandria City Councilwoman Del Pepper was more blunt.

"Well, we love to win," Pepper said. 

Hughes, in her concession speech, urged Republicans not to give up despite the Virginia results. 

"We might be a little sullen tonight. Do not lose heart. Pay attention," she said. "Let's see what happens, and let's make sure we engineer the best comeback anybody has ever seen." 

One bright spot for Republicans: a constitutional amendment limiting the use of eminent domain was approved by voters.

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