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Mace & Crown | March 26, 2017

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Old Dominion Alumnus Kenny Alexander Elected Mayor

Old Dominion Alumnus Kenny Alexander Elected Mayor
Morgan Engelhardt
News Editor

On May 5, the city of Norfolk elected Kenny Alexander as its first new mayor since 1994. Alexander is also the city’s first African American mayor. Receiving over 16,000 votes, Alexander defeated both of his opponents, city council member Andy Protogyrou and Sheriff Bob McCabe. Despite this, both McCabe and Protogyrou congratulated Alexander, Protogyrou saying that “this city is in good hands with Kenny Alexander.”

Voter turnout was at 28 percent, twice as high as the last election, which saw the re-election of Mayor Paul Fraim. Alexander had support from multiple prominent figures in Virginian politics, including an endorsement from Mayor Fraim.

Born and raised in Norfolk, Alexander has been a state legislator for over 14 years. At age 29, he held multiple positions within the city, including Norfolk’s Economic Development Authority and President of the Beacon Light Civic League, while being a prominent member of the Planning Commission and Human Services Commission. Alexander received his education at ODU, earning his bachelor’s degree in political science.

University President John Broderick congratulated the new mayor, calling him a “close friend and a tremendous advocate for his alma mater, Old Dominion University.”

Alexander believes his election was successful because he chose to run a positive campaign, even though his opponents used negative ads against him. “We ran a sophisticated, professional campaign,” Alexander said. “We touched people.”

Despite his election being historic, he has not commented on this fact. He simply stated that he is just a person from Norfolk, as well as a person from Virginia. Alexander talked about how his connections with Washington would help him with funding to aid Norfolk.

Alexander will take office in July. His seat within the state senate will be vacant until an election can be held. He promises to do his best to hold up Mayor Fraim’s legacy, which was over two decades in the making.