Kenny Alexander Article

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Kenny Alexander
Kenny Alexander 2008-08-27.jpg
Mayor of Norfolk, Virginia
Assumed office
July 1, 2016
Preceded by Paul D. Fraim
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 5th district
In office
September 17, 2012 – June 30, 2016
Preceded by Yvonne B. Miller
Succeeded by Lionell Spruill
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 89th district
In office
August 2002 – September 17, 2012
Preceded by Jerrauld Jones
Succeeded by Daun Sessoms Hester
Personal details
Kenneth Cooper Alexander

(1966-10-17) October 17, 1966 (age 52)
Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Donna Burnley
ChildrenKenneth Jr., David
Residence Norfolk, Virginia
Alma mater John Tyler Community College, Old Dominion University, Norwich University
Profession funeral director, educator
Website Campaign website Government website

Kenneth Cooper Alexander (born October 17, 1966, in Norfolk, Virginia) is an American politician, serving as the mayor of Norfolk, Virginia. From 2002 - 2012, he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 89th District in Norfolk. From 2012 - 2016 he was a member of the Senate of Virginia, representing the 5th District in Norfolk and Chesapeake.

Early life

Born in 1966, Alexander grew up in the neighborhoods of Berkley and South Norfolk, at the crossroads of the cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake. Supported by an extensive network of extended family, he excelled as a student at Lake Taylor High School where he was drum major of the marching band and elected as president of the student body.

He studied mortuary science at John Tyler Community College in Chester, Virginia and married his classmate Donna Burnley. After graduation, they returned to Berkley to continue the work of Metropolitan Funeral Service. He earned a BS from Old Dominion University and a MA from Norwich University. [1] Over the next 20 years, Metropolitan expanded to two additional locations: in Wards Corner in Norfolk's mid town and Portsmouth. Their staff has grown to over 20 individuals and they continue to support a series of community-based initiatives.

As an area business leader, Alexander has served the neighborhood and city in various public service roles: as President of the Beacon Light Civic League, vice-chair of Norfolk's Planning Commission, and member of Norfolk's Human Service Commission and Economic Development Authority. He helped found the Norfolk Chesapeake Portsmouth Community Development Federal Credit Union, a financial institution that provides access to low-cost financial services. Alexander was instrumental in developing new single-family homes in Berkley and a shopping center that attracted a major supermarket chain.

Electoral history

Date Election Candidate Party Votes %
Virginia House of Delegates, 89th district
Aug 6, 2002 [2] Special K C Alexander Democratic 3,927 72.57
L Horsey Republican 1,122 20.74
S W Battle 348 6.43
Write Ins 14 0.26
Jerrauld Jones resigned; seat remained Democratic
Nov 4, 2003 [3] General K C Alexander Democratic 5,436 97.75
Write Ins 125 2.25
Nov 8, 2005 [4] General K C Alexander Democratic 11.069 76.67
J G Behr Republican 3,350 23.20
Write Ins 18 0.12
Nov 6, 2007 [5] General Kenneth Cooper Alexander Democratic 5,265 96.62
Write Ins 184 3.37
Nov 3, 2009 [6] General Kenneth Cooper Alexander Democratic 10,659 81.02
Anthony J. "Trip" Triplin 2,448 18.60
Write Ins 49 0.37
Nov 8, 2011 [7] General Kenneth Cooper Alexander Democratic 5,821 96.82
Write Ins 191 3.17
Senate of Virginia, 5th district
Sep 4, 2012 [8] Special Kenneth Cooper Alexander Democratic 3,643 98.51
Write Ins 55 1.48
Yvonne B. Miller died; seat remained Democratic
Norfolk Mayor
May 3, 2016 [9] Kenneth Cooper Alexander Democratic 16,397 51.68
Robert J. McCabe 7,276 22.93
Andy A. Protogyrou 8,022 25.29

General Assembly career

In May 2002, Governor Mark Warner appointed the 89th District incumbent, Delegate Jerrauld Jones, to be Director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. Alexander won the Democratic nomination, and won the special election on August 6 with 72% of the vote in a three-way race. [2]

Alexander was unopposed in two of his three succeeding elections.

Alexander's decade of service in the General Assembly has been distinguished by legislative accomplishments and constituent service. As a freshman legislator, Alexander gained passage of half of the bills that he introduced in his first session of the General Assembly by finding common ground among his colleagues. He gained health care legislation to address postpartum depression and the provision of official IDs for recently released individuals of Virginia's behavioral health facilities.

During the 2004 Session, Alexander passed legislation extending ballot access to young voters who at 17 were not eligible to vote in primaries, though they would have reached 18 by election day in November. Until Alexander's efforts, this class of young voters were denied the ability to participate in primary elections and other nominating contests. Alexander's profile grew during the 2005 Session. In addition, to ushering important changes to Norfolk's charter, he passed a series of bills concerning the well-being of youth. This included legislation that allowed those grandparents who serve as sole guardians to have access to their grandchildren's birth certificates, and required daycare centers to notify parents in the event of a child's injury.

Before 2005, the state did not require plans outlining the duties, duration of stay, and terms of foster care from foster care providers. In addition, interviews with prospective foster parents and inspection of their homes was optional. Alexander introduced legislation to require surveys of the child's pending foster environment, as well as a plan for the temporary care to be created by both the prospective foster parent and foster child (with assistance by the child's state social service representative).

In the 2006 and 2007 sessions, Alexander introduced a series of success bills ensuring truth in labeling for Kosher and Halal foods, mitigating the impact of lead poisoning, and providing citizens with the right of public hearings as a part of the approval process for pending actions by housing authorities. He also championed legislation that provided extended medical coverage to injured or ill young adult students who were forced to take a leave of absence from their studies. Recognizing the high incidence of hypertension among public safety workers, Alexander authored legislation that allowed heart disease to be covered under worker's compensation for workers at Norfolk Airport.

The growing number of Virginia's senior citizens and their rapidly increasing need for services prompted Alexander to author legislation in 2008 that required the Department of Aging to develop and submit four-year plans. In 2009, he ushered a proposed constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to former non-violent felons who have served their sentences, through the full House Committee on Privileges and Elections. That same year, he also gained relief for Arthur Lee Whitfield, a Norfolk resident who was wrongly convicted of a violent crime. Alexander followed his successes in restorative justice by serving as patron for legislation that required the automatic issue of a writ of innocence in 2010 for individuals found to have been wrongly convicted.

Alexander has fought for additional government disclosure and transparency in recent sessions. He gained legislation that forced candidates and campaign committees to provide full disclosure for campaign-related phone calls. In 2011, Alexander also passed consumer rights legislation that prohibited phone service providers from adding services without the consent of customers; another required school systems to be more accountable in addressing student absenteeism and truancy. In 2012, Alexander forced the disclosure of the Department of Transportation's plans for proposed tolls on Norfolk's Downtown Tunnel, Midtown Tunnel, and Martin Luther King Freeway (MLK) Extension.

On December 15, 2008, Alexander was chosen as chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus. [10]

In a special election on September 4, 2012, Alexander was elected to the Virginia Senate representing the 5th Senate District; he succeeded Senator Yvonne Miller, who died in office. [11]

On May 3, 2016 he was elected mayor of Norfolk, Virginia with 51.6% of the vote. [12] He is the city's first black mayor.


  1. ^ "Kenneth C. Alexander". Senate of Virginia. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Special Election- August 6, 2002". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on May 19, 2009. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
  3. ^ "General Election- November 4, 2003". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on May 5, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  4. ^ "General Election- November 8, 2005". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2013-05-05. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  5. ^ "November 6, 2007 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  6. ^ "November 2009 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  7. ^ "November 2011 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  8. ^ "September 2012 State Senate Special Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  9. ^ "Results".
  10. ^ Walker, Julian (2008-12-16). "Local delegate picked as chair of Legislative Black Caucus". Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  11. ^ "VA: Alexander ready to step into Yvonne Miller's place". Virghinia Watchdog. org. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  12. ^ Hartley, Eric. "With quick win, Kenny Alexander will be Norfolk's first new mayor in 22 years".


External links