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Va. Beach & Portsmouth Candidates Announce Bids For Cities’ Mayors

Virginia Beach Councilwoman Sabrina Wooten and Portsmouth Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke have officially declared their mayoral bids for the 2024 election cycle. Wooten emphasizes building on shared foundations and envisioning an inclusive future for Virginia Beach, while Lucas-Burke highlights effective communication and consensus-building for Portsmouth. Both candidates bring diverse backgrounds and leadership experience, shaping their visions for the respective cities.
#MayoralElection #VirginiaBeach #Portsmouth #CommunityLeadership

By Rosaland Tyler
Associate Editor
New Journal and Guide

Virginia Beach Councilwoman Sabrina Wooten recently became the second Black to officially announce her 2024 mayoral bid for that Hampton Roads city.

This week, over in Portsmouth, Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke declared her candidacy for Mayor in that city’s forthcoming 2024 election cycle during a press conference.

“Portsmouth deserves a Mayor who is an effective communicator and consensus builder of City Council members, Community Leaders, and Stakeholders,” Lucas-Burke said about her candidacy.

Virginia Beach Councilwoman Wooten, who represents the District 7, said in a press release, “I will be committed to building on the foundation we’ve learned together.”

She was appointed to Virginia Beach City Council in 2018. She filled the seat that Bobby Dyer vacated when he became mayor. Wooten was elected in 2020 and her term expires at the end of 2024.

“Virginia Beach deserves a leader who envisions a future where every voice is heard, and every resident has the opportunity to thrive,” Wooten said.

Wooten, age 48, and Chris Taylor, a 39-year-old Black City Councilman serving his first term on Virginia Beach City Council, will run against Bobby Dyer, the incumbent mayor in the Nov. 5, 2024 election. Former Virginia Beach Councilman John Moss, 69, who lost the District 9 election last year, is also running.

Wooten is the current chair of the Minority Business Council and the chair of the Outreach Committee. She is a member of the Minority Awareness Committee, the American Society for Public Administration, and the National Association of Professional Women.


For more than 13 years, Wooten has worked as an administrative pastor and the chaplain for the Virginia Beach Police Department. She is a graduate of the 2018 Lead Hampton Roads Signature Class.

Portsmouth Vice Mayor Lucas-Burke serves in her current position from 2022-2024; she also served as Vice Mayor from 2019 to 2020. She joined Portsmouth City Council in 2017.

Lucas-Burke, a product of the Portsmouth Public Schools, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, both from Norfolk State University.

She began her professional journey with the City of Portsmouth’s Data Processing Department in January 1988. In 2000, she joined her family’s business and currently serves as the Executive Director and partner at the Lucas Lodge entities headquartered in the Lucas Professional Center.

Vice Mayor Lucas-Burke assumes leadership roles in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Steering Committee, Portsmouth Democratic Committee, Girls Incorporated of Southwest Hampton Roads Board of Directors. She is an honored graduate of the Vann H. Lefcoe Leadership Class of 2013. Her association with the Portsmouth Economic Development Authority included a noteworthy tenure as Vice Chair from 2013 to 2014 and Chair from July 2014 to 2016.

Lucas-Burke is the first-born daughter of Senator L. Louise Lucas and the late Otis M. Lucas. She is married to Herbert Burke, and they are proud parents of one adult daughter, Demesha.

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