Alexandria had a big primary night surprise, with Allison Silberberg winning the Democratic mayoral primary by just over 300 votes, defeating incumbent mayor Bill Euille.
Euille was running for his fifth term. He had not been opposed for the mayor's office since 2003.
Former Mayor Kerry Donley also ran in the race, placing third. Donley was mayor from 1996 to 2003 and since then has served with and under Euille.
Silberberg was elected to the Alexandria City Council in 2012.
She celebrated with supporters at Los Tios in the Del Ray section of the city, jumping to a chair to speak when the final vote tally came in.
"I'm very honored to stand before you tonight as the next mayor of Alexandria," said Silberberg to a huge cheer.
Silberberg has often stood alone on the city council on development votes. Her candidacy tapped into simmering discontent among some residents that recently approved projects don't mesh well with the historic character of the city. She also was buoyed by Republican voters permitted to cast ballots in the open primary.
Silberberg told News4 her victory sends a message.
"I think it does send a message that the people of the city want leadership that is going to listen to people. We need to rebuild the people's trust in terms of more openness and transparency in city hall," she said.
If elected in November, Silberberg said she'll take a different approach to growth.
"We need to pursue thoughtful, appropriate development that will be to scale and protect our neighborhoods and quality of life," she said.
After celebrating with supporters, Silberberg attended a Democratic Unity Rally with both Donley and Euille.
"My head's not down," said Euille, a lifelong Alexandria resident. "I'm proud of my accomplishments. Obviously low voter turnout impacted the outcome."
Right now Silberberg is unopposed in November.
But Euille said he'll meet with his campaign over the weekend to analyze his options, including the possibility of launching a write-in campaign next fall.
An Alexandria resident who's upset with the primary's outcome moved fast to create a Twitter account to rally support for Euille to wage a write-in campaign.
The creator of @writein_Euille said he has not spoken with the current mayor about the social media campaign.