Councilperson Theresa Coates Ellis, a Republican, has announced that she is running to replace Hal Parrish as mayor of Manassas.
Parrish announced this week that he would not seek another term in November.
In a message posted to her campaign website, Coates Ellis published a three-step plan for workforce development in the city and bringing in new business.
“The city of Manassas is the perfect place for children to develop career-ready skills in high school and for new and established businesses to grow and flourish,” the first-term council member wrote. “My plan will unite businesses with students for career and college readiness.”
Coates Ellis could not immediately be reached for comment.
So far, the race for Parrish’s seat will feature two relative newcomers to city politics. In December, first-term council member Michelle Davis-Younger announced her candidacy, hoping to become the first Democrat elected to the post in the city’s history. Parrish has served as mayor for three terms, since 2009.
On Friday morning, Davis-Younger said she and Coates Ellis have gotten to know each other well over the last year and that the two had a good relationship. She couldn’t yet say where the two might differ the most over the campaign.
“I think it’s awesome, the fact that there’s two women, after 70 years, running for this seat is amazing,” Davis-Younger said. “She and I get along well … She really does try to facilitate things and encourage communication. I’m not going to run a nasty campaign and I don’t think she will either. It’s great.”
Coates Ellis is the founding owner of Tackle Management Corp., a marketing and communications company in Manassas. In addition, she’s served as president of the Bull Run Rotary Club and served on the Manassas Regional Airport Committee.
Davis-Younger said she thinks it’s unlikely anyone else will jump into the race with the filing deadline coming up at the end of March. The two-person race will be historic for the city, as either candidate will be the first female mayor.
“Theresa cares about our community, embraces our history and understands our challenges,” a statement on her website reads. “As a mother and business owner, she is an experienced communicator and problem-solver. She engages with the community and gets things done!”