Alyia Gaskins' primary win sets stage for historic mayoral run in Alexandria

This Juneteenth, a historic first may be on the horizon. Alyia Gaskins, an Alexandria City council member, has won the Democratic nomination for mayor. 

This significant primary victory sets the stage for Gaskins to potentially become the city’s first Black female mayor in the upcoming November election.

Alexandria is known for its rich history, and electing the first African American woman as mayor would be a groundbreaking event there.

Gaskins, currently serving her first term as a city council member, has a professional background in public health and urban planning. 

She secured the nomination Tuesday with 59% of the vote, defeating Vice Mayor Amy Jackson and Democrat Steven Peterson. 

Speaking with FOX 5, Gaskins acknowledged the historical significance of her primary win, especially on Juneteenth, in a city that was once a hub of America’s slave trade.

"Their voices matter, and they have an opportunity to shape their community just like I will get to do, so I am filled with deep excitement and, like I’ve said… humility," Gaskins said.

If elected, Gaskins will face significant challenges. 

Alexandria has been embroiled in debates over urban growth, the development of Potomac Yard following a failed sports arena plan, and a recent vote to eliminate single-family-only zoning. 

Residents told FOX 5 that while Gaskins represents progress, the city still faces numerous issues.

Alexandria’s first African American mayor, Bill Euille, served from 2003 to 2016. 

With Alexandria being a predominantly Democratic city and no significant independent or write-in challengers on the horizon, it is likely that Gaskins will be elected mayor this fall.