Alexandria Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg scored a stunning upset on June 9 in the Democratic primary for mayor, unseating four-term Mayor William Euille by a final count of 318 votes.
Silberberg, 52, who is Jewish, cast her ballot at Agudas Achim Congregation. So far, she faces no opposition in the general election in November.
Euille, 64, is serving his fourth term as mayor of Alexandria. In 2003, he was elected the first African American mayor in the city’s 266-year history.
In an interview with Washington Jewish Week before the primary election, Silberberg said Judaism has influenced her political life.
“Tikkun olam, repairing the world, leaving the world a better place than the way I found it, is a core value and provides a moral compass for me in my work on the council, and if I’m blessed to be elected mayor,” Silberberg said. “Public service is part of fulfilling tikkun olam for me. Having a sense of mission is a part of that. Every day having that sense of mission. Every day of my life. It is a part of who I am and what I will bring to the office and to lead our city.”
Silberberg was raised in Dallas at Temple Emanu-El, a Reform congregation that is the largest Jewish congregation in the South.
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington Executive Director Ron Halber offered congratulations on Silberberg’s victory and said the JCRC is looking forward to working with her should she be elected mayor. Halber noted that Alexandria “has a very vibrant Jewish community.”
Also in the Democratic primaries, Katie Cristol won the Democratic nomination for Arlington County Board. She was vying with five other candidates for two open seats on the board, which is elected at large. The winner of the other seat was Christian Dorsey.
Cristol, 30, who is also Jewish, was profiled last month in Washington Jewish Week. The Columbia Pike resident talked about her decision to run for elected office.
“I thought it was really a perfect opportunity to make the case for some new voices at the table and to expand the definition of what leadership looks like in Arlington. I think we all benefit when we have some new ways at looking at old challenges,” Cristol said.
Cristol and Dorsey will face at least two opponents this November for the board positions. Former Green Party candidate Audrey Clement and former Republican candidate Michael McMenamin will appear on the ballot as independent candidates.
Another Jewish candidate in Northern Virginia, Mark Levine, won the Democratic primary for the 45th District seat in the House of Delegates. He has no challenger so far in the general election. The district includes portions of Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County. Levine will replace Del. Rob Krupicka, who decided not to run again.