Virginia State Sen. Kenneth Cooper Alexander, 5th District, has announced that he is running for mayor of Norfolk in the May 2016 city elections.
Sen. Alexander, 49, president of the family-owned Metropolitan Funeral Service, is a Norfolk native who has earned several appointed and elected public positions during his public service career, which began more than two decades ago.
Alexander is building his mayoral campaign on his well-rounded experience as a dedicated and compassionate civic and business leader, effective and creative problem solver, and longtime community and political unifier. Key themes will include education, economic and workforce development, housing and safe neighborhoods, the rising sea level, governmental transparency, civil discourse and community participation, and listening to Norfolk residents.
“Norfolk needs someone with the broad experience and skills that I bring to the table, the resources that I can tap, the ability to effectively reach out to people at all levels ― from neighborhoods, to boardrooms, to the upper levels of government ― and to bring together people from diverse viewpoints,” Alexander says. “These have been the hallmarks of my service, in building my business, in helping my neighborhood, and in government.”
In addition to serving in the Senate since 2012, Alexander represented the 89th House of Delegates District from 2002 to 2012. He is currently a member of the Senate committees on Commerce and Labor, Finance, Transportation, and Privileges and Elections. Alexander also serves on the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, the High Speed Rail Compact Commission for Virginia and North Carolina, the Special Joint Subcommittee to Consult on the Plan to Close State Training Centers and the Joint Commission on the Future Competitiveness of Virginia Higher Education. In the House, he was a member of the committees on Commerce and Labor, Education, Privileges and Elections, and Rules.
Before being elected to the General Assembly, Alexander was a member of the Norfolk Economic Development Authority, Planning Commission (vice chair), Human Services Commission and the blue ribbon commission that studied direct election of the mayor. He is a member of the Greater Norfolk Corp. and the Norfolk Chapter of the FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association and an alumni of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. Alexander began his service to the community as president of Berkley’s Beacon Light Civic League and Beacon Light Community Development Corp.
“This is an important time in Norfolk’s history, and I want to use my time, energy and experience working to make this great city an even better place to live,” Alexander says. “I am fortunate to have participated in many good initiatives, and I have always learned so much from these opportunities. I love Norfolk, and I want to give back even more to our citizens by utilizing the knowledge and skills I have gained, which are so much needed during these critical times.”
A 1985 graduate of Lake Taylor High School, Alexander was honored on Oct. 28 at the Norfolk Education Foundation’s Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala. Alexander holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Old Dominion University and a master’s degree in diplomacy from Norwich University, the oldest, private military college in the country. He is currently working on his doctorate in leadership and change through a hybrid program with Antioch University.
Alexander and his wife, Donna Burnley Alexander, have two school-aged children, Kenneth II and David.