So far, 1,227 votes have been counted, with 1,186 of those being from domestic absentee voters. At this same time in 2007, only 913 domestic absentee ballots had been cast. Arlington County Treasurer Frank O’Leary predicts that by election day, 1,827 absentee ballots will have been cast. That would be a record number, and would likely mean a record number of overall voters.
O’Leary says absentee votes have been disproportionately high from voters in the 31st Senate District, with the heated race between Democrat Barbara Favola and Republican Caren Merrick. It has provided more than 64% of the absentee votes so far.
In-person absentee voting continues through tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. at the Arlington County administrative building in Courthouse (2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 320).
This week we asked the two candidates for the 31st District state Senate seat to write a sub-750 word essay on why the district’s residents should vote for them on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
We did not receive a response from Caren Merrick (R).
Here is the unedited response from Barbara Favola (D):
I am running for the State Senate because I want to create a Virginia that is forward thinking and focused on our future. Moreover, I believe I am best able to represent the values of the 31st District. I am 100% pro-choice and 100% pro-equality. Most importantly, I have the experience necessary to deliver for the region. The Washington Post recently noted: “Barbara will be an effective Senator from Day 1.”
My first priority will be to invest in K-12 education and to make higher education more affordable and accessible. I am particularly interested in ensuring that the Community College System has the necessary resources to accept every eligible student. A well-trained workforce is the key to attracting high-paying jobs. Our families, our communities and our businesses are worth the investment.
I am also intent on fixing Northern Virginia’s transportation problems. I will work in a bipartisan way to find a new and dedicated source of revenue to fund our roads, bridges and transit systems. Good transportation infrastructure is the backbone of a growing economy and a growing region. I know that traffic congestion detracts from time with loved ones and community building. We must work to maintain the region’s high quality of life.
Protecting the environment and encouraging the development of renewable energy options are critical components in creating a more desirable and a more competitive Virginia. I want Virginia to do its part in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. I have been a regional leader in this area and will use my expertise in Richmond. I will also work to ensure that incentives are available for the creation of renewable energy sources.
As an Arlington County Board member, I balanced 14 consecutive budgets. Arlington has the lowest unemployment rate in the State and the lowest real-estate rate of any major jurisdiction in Northern Virginia. Moreover, the County still enjoys a triple- AAA bond rating. I know how to get the best value for our tax dollar and how to make key investments in critical areas such as education.
My Republican opponent is listed on the VA Tea Party Alliance Web Site as a possible candidate to create a conservative majority in the State Senate. I submit to you that it is in the interest of the 31st District and the Commonwealth as a whole to keep the State Senate in Democratic hands.
My opponent supports her party’s extremist agenda. She defended a recent McDonnell initiative to restrict a women’s access to abortions by requiring women’s health centers to meet costly and unnecessary regulations, thereby, forcing the closure of 17 out of 21 clinics around the State. My opponent received an A- from the NRA. Yet, most Virginians are looking for reasonable gun control measures. Moreover, my opponent will not be voting with the Democrats to defeat the usual onslaught of harsh anti-immigrant legislation that will certainly come out of the House Delegates in this next session. Caren Merrick is out of step with Northern Virginia and the voters of the 31st District.
I ask for your vote on November 8 because our children deserve a brighter future. Please join your friends and neighbors at the polls anytime between 6:00am to 7:00pm. Thank You.
Merrick started out the night with a stump speech that focused on her background as a successful businesswoman and on her desire “streamline regulation and taxation so we can unleash the entrepreneurial spirit.” During the speech Merrick, a McLean resident, tried to strike a bipartisan tone.
“I am not running as a partisan, I’m running to represent every one in this district,” she said. “I am not running on social issues.”
Alas, social issues quickly entered the conversation as questions from the audience focused on more divisive subjects.
“How will you stand up for my daughter’s right to choose?” one man asked.
“There are millions of good people on both sides of this issue,” Merrick replied. “I am pro-life and I am pro-woman.”
Merrick’s Democratic opponent, Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola, then answered and drew loud applause as she declared herself “100 percent pro-choice.” She went on to argue that if Merrick was elected, Republicans in the Virginia legislature would have a better shot at passing laws that restrict abortion rights and the rights of immigrants.
“I am very troubled by this social agenda,” she said of state Republicans.
Later, Merrick was asked about the A- rating she received from the National Rifle Association. The man asking about it was Omar Samaha, a three-year Cherrydale resident whose sister was killed in the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech. Samaha asked if the candidates supported background checks on private gun sales.
“I’ve been around guns all my life, but in a safe way… a responsible way,” said Merrick, whose father was a Marine. Pressed on whether she thinks background checks should be required for all gun sales, Merrick said yes.
“I do think we should have a background check,” she said.
Favola was again unequivocal, saying she was proud of the ‘F’ she received from the NRA
“I feel very strongly that we have too many gun sales in this country, to people who are not mentally stable and should not be having access to guns,” Favola said. She went on to question why guns are allowed in Virginia’s bars and why localities like Arlington don’t have more power to regulate guns.
Another resident asked Favola and Merrick whether they’d release their answers to the survey the NRA sends to candidates. Favola said she, in fact, did not respond to the survey. Merrick said she would release the survey before the election, and then commented on the question itself.
“I have to say, these questions tonight have not been representative of what I’ve been asked as I’ve knocked on doors around the district,” she said.
“I am running on jobs and the economy,” said Merrick. “We need to diversify our economy. That is the most important issue.”
In her closing remarks, Favola said there’s “a definite choice” between herself and Merrick, adding that Merrick was listed on a Northern Virginia Tea Party website. Merrick, who earlier criticized the “rancor” on Capitol Hill, took the bait. She responded by saying that Favola “knows nothing about” bipartisanship.
“I’m not a member of the Tea Party, I don’t know how my picture got up there,” she said tersely. “Barbara Favola is not looking to solve problems, she’s looking to start a fight.”
The Washington Post and the Arlington Sun Gazette both endorsed Favola yesterday, passing over her opponent, Republican Caren Merrick.
“Our inclination at the beginning of the race was to favor Merrick,” wrote the Sun Gazette. “But as the campaign progressed, we’ve been left wondering exactly what her core political philosophy is, and how she will put it into action, if elected, in Richmond.”
“Democrat Barbara Favola, a knowledgeable veteran of the Arlington County Board, would be effective in the Senate from Day 1 representing this district,” wrote the Washington Post. “Ms. Merrick, despite her valuable business experience, has offered no plausible alternative for tackling [traffic] gridlock.”
Merrick holds a substantial cash advantage over Favola, however. As of Sept. 30, Merrick had $140,076 in the bank, compared to Favola’s $62,612.
Favola and Merrick are scheduled to debate tonight at the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department (3900 Lee Highway). The debate is expected to begin around 7:30 p.m.
Merrick Mailer Goes Negative — Republican state Senate candidate Caren Merrick is railing against mudslinging by her Democratic opponent, Barbara Favola, by sending out a mailer that does some major mudslinging of her own. “Barbara Favola: Too extreme to represent us,” the mailer says, before listing a litany of negatives about Favola’s record on the Arlington County Board. “Apparently, she will do anything to get elected in her quest for power,” the mailer also says, before declaring: “On November 8th, vote to reject [Favola's] mud slinging politics.” [Blue Virginia]
Man Struck By Train Dies — Updated at 11:50 a.m. — The 39-year-old McLean man who was struck by an Orange Line train in an apparent suicide attempt at the Clarendon Metro station last week has died. Earlier, Metro said the man had been in critical condition the Intensive Care Unit of a local hospital with head injuries and broken bones. It took rescuers about an hour to free the man from underneath the train on Tuesday, Oct. 11. The disruption on the Orange Line caused major delays for thousands of evening rush hour commuters. [Washington Examiner]
Boeing HQ Fight Comes Before the Board — Will the County Board approve a plan to build a sprawling new six-story headquarters for Boeing just north of Crystal City. Or will it take the unanimous opinion of the county’s Planning Commission and reject the project because of a lack of community “benefits?” The board will take up the matter at its meeting this evening. [Sun Gazette]
While the 31st District state Senate campaign started out on a surprisingly positive note, mailers paid for by the Democratic Party of Virginia and authorized by Favola have now gone negative. The mailers contain sentences like: “Caren Merrick will stand with extremists against a woman’s right to choose” and “Tea Party Republican Caren Merrick doesn’t share our values.”
At least two such mailers have been sent to 31st District residents in as many weeks. Two earlier Democratic mailers focused more on Favola’s positives — including support for education and Arlington’s low unemployment rate — although both also made reference to her commitment “to protect a woman’s right to choose.”
Previously held by the now-retired Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, the 31st District became a lot less Democratic after this year’s redistricting process (44.4 percent of the redrawn district voted for Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, compared to 34.7 percent of the old district). Favola is apparently betting on abortion being the issue that convinces complacent Democrats, used to easy state Senate victories, to go to the polls.
Merrick’s campaign, meanwhile, has remained overwhelmingly positive — focused on issues like jobs, the economy and Merrick’s business background – much to the surprise (and, in some cases, delight) of local Democratic operatives. In debates and in her campaign literature, Merrick largely avoids social issues like abortion and gay marriage.
Last week, the Merrick campaign issued a statement decrying “mudslinging” from Favola.
“The Merrick campaign believes Ms. Favola, is using false, negative campaign tactics to hide her 14 year record on the Arlington County Board where she has ignored the wishes and concerns of local civic associations, increased spending 70%, increased her own pay by 59%, and filed a 2 million dollar lawsuit halting critical transportation solutions and naming government workers personally liable,” the campaign said.
Steve Jobs Memorial Grows — The Post-it-Note memorial to Steve Jobs at the Clarendon Apple Store is getting bigger. Since we arrived at the Apple Store yesterday morning, the memorial has grown from zero to dozens of hand-written notes for the late Apple founder.
Favola Takes Aim at Merrick on NRA Rating — Republican State Senate candidate Caren Merrick was given an “A-” rating in a new candidate “scorecard” issued by the National Rifle Association. Democrat Babara Favola, meanwhile, received an “F” rating. But it was Favola who took the offensive. It’s “not a grade my opponent should be proud of,” Favola Tweeted. Said Favola campaign manager Adam Scott: “Caren Merrick is supported by the Tea Party, the NRA, and anti-choice extremists who want to chip away at a woman’s right to choose in Virginia. That’s just not what we need in the state Senate.”
Relocated ‘Nine’ Starts Tonight — The Arlington Players production of ‘Nine’ starts tonight at the Kenmore Middle School Theater. The musical — which was made into a Hollywood movie two years ago — was originally scheduled to be held at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School Theater. It had to be relocated, however, due to earthquake damage at the theater. [The Arlington Players]
Lots of Events This Weekend — There’s plenty of stuff going on in Arlington on what promises to be an absolutely beautiful fall weekend. If you want to support a high school car wash, or attend an Oktoberfest, or party with artists, check out our Events Calendar.
Photo courtesy @btrpkc
Car Runs Into Apartment Building — A car ran into an apartment building on Lee Highway over the weekend. The impact punched a big hole in the side of the brick building, located at 4343 Lee Highway in Waverly Hills. [WUSA9]
Chorus Performances Relocated — The Potomac Harmony Chorus has announced that its 35th anniversary show, Melodies, Memories and Magic, will be relocated to the Washington-Lee High School Auditorium from the earthquake-damaged Thomas Jefferson Community Theater. The all-woman chorus is also seeking a new venue for its December holiday concert and sing-along. [Potomac Harmony Chorus]
Merrick Holds Cash Advantage — As of Aug. 31, Republican state Senate candidate had a nearly 9-to-1 campaign cash advantage over Democrat Barbara Favola, who had just emerged victorious from a bruising primary. [Sun Gazette]
Julia’s Empanadas Now Served at Boccato — Clarendon’s Boccato Gelato (2719 Wilson Blvd) started serving D.C.’s famous Julia’s Empanadas over the weekend. The expanding eatery is planning to start serving baguettes and pastries from Arlington bread delivery service LeoNora Bakery on Oct. 1. [Clarendon Culture, Twitter]
Photo courtesy David Johnson
If you were hoping for fireworks in the closely-watched state Senate race between Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola (D) and McLean businesswoman Caren Merrick (R), you would have been sorely disappointed by last night’s Arlington County Civic Federation debate.
The unofficial kickoff to the general election campaign season lacked the audacious, back-and-forth recriminations of the 31st District Democratic primary. It did, however, set the stage for a clear battle of ideas in a race that could have significant repercussions in Richmond.
Smiling and effervescent, Merrick’s big debut to Arlington voters started out with her politely applauding Favola’s opening statement, then taking the podium, acknowledging her husband and sons, and describing herself as “the daughter of a Marine.” She recounted how she and her husband “started a software company in our basement” (it was sold to a German company in 2007 for $546 million) and touted her non-profit work with low-income families and “urban youth.”
Repeatedly, Merrick cited her business experience and argued that she was the stronger candidate on jobs and the economy.
“I believe that I have the experience that these challenging times call for,” Merrick said, adding that she would also focus on education and “bipartisan solutions for transportation.”
“I will not be part of the partisan gridlock,” said Merrick. “Above all, I promise that I will listen to you.”
Merrick stayed clear of hot-button topics like abortion and gay marriage in her opening and closing statements, but Civic Federation questioners pressed the issue.
“There are millions of good people on both sides of this issue,” she said when asked about abortion. “I’m pro-life. But I have a record of helping women who are homeless, who have been abused, who have had to rebuild their lives. The company that my husband and I co-founded… over half of the management team were women. So I’m pro-women.”
Favola, meanwhile, was unequivocal.
“I’m a strong supporter of pro-equality,” she said. “I’m 100% pro-choice as well.”
Favola and Merrick both said they supported increasing transportation funding, but differed in terms of how to pay for it.
“You have to remember that Virginia has one of the lowest gas taxes in the entire country,” Favola said in support of raising the state’s gasoline tax. “The bottom line here is: We have a problem, we have to fix it.”
“I don’t believe a gas tax is sustainable,” Merrick argued. “I agree with our Democratic Senators Warner and Webb, who are proposing that we sell off-shore [oil drilling] leases. I also support a myriad of other forms of revenue for transportation. I do not support the gas tax.”
Local Democrats are putting the unprecedented mud-slinging leading up to Tuesday’s primary behind them as they press forward to November’s general election with a slate of four candidates and two Republican challengers.
“For months, our Democratic candidates have waged energetic and spirited primary campaigns, and we look forward to all campaigns being able to turn this energy into supporting our united Democratic ticket in November,” said Arlington County Democratic Committee Chair Mike Lieberman, following a 31st District state Senate race that the Washington Post called “one of the most heated, unpleasant races in recent memory.”
Candidates Barbara Favola and Jaime Areizaga-Soto, who were trading accusations of making racist statements and destroying the environment less than two weeks ago, are now making nice via prepared statements.
“We ran an energetic, grassroots, progressive campaign throughout the 31st District in Northern Virginia and I am very proud of the work we did,” Areizaga-Soto said in a statement. “I call on all my supporters throughout Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun to work for a Barbara Favola victory in November.
“This campaign… demonstrated that Mr. Areizaga-Soto and I share the same strong commitment to Democratic values,” Favola said in a statement. “I applaud Mr. Areizaga-Soto’s service to the Democratic Party and to the Country. His talents will be a significant asset in the upcoming battle to retain the 31st Senate seat”
In an interview, Favola said she hopes the race between herself and Republican Caren Merrick will stay focused on the issues.
“I’m hopeful that the general will be a civil conversation on issues like education, transportation, the environment and creating jobs,” she said. “I think voters really don’t like the negative campaigning. They really want to be given a reason to vote for you.”
Favola says she’s ready to face the well-funded Merrick, adding that Democratic unity will help her prevail.
“We’re geared up to move into the general,” she said. “We have a great message, we’re positive, we’re talking about issues people care about… I absolutely think Democrats are going to be able to unite. We know that the stakes are high. It’s not just winning the 31st, it’s keeping control of the state Senate. I have every indication they’ll rally around.”
In the Sun Gazette today, Merrick called the mud-slinging between Favola and Areizaga-Soto an example of “what’s wrong with politics today.” Should the general election turn negative, however, Favola says she isn’t sure how her issue-focused campaign will react.
“I guess one thing about politics is that it’s always unpredictable,” she said. “I’m not going to presuppose how we’re going to respond.”
Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola has decisively won the acrimonious race for the 31st District state Senate seat. With all precincts reporting, Favola has captured 65 percent of the vote to Jaime Areizaga-Soto’s 35 percent. Favola will face a well-funded Republican challenger, Caren Merrick, in November.
Del. Adam Ebbin, meanwhile, has squeaked by Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka in the three-way race for the 30th District state Senate seat. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Ebbin has 39 percent of the vote to Kupricka’s 36 percent and Arlington school board member Libby Garvey’s 25 percent. Ebbin will face Republican hopeful Timothy McGhee in November.
Alfonso Lopez will be the 49th District’s next House of Delegates member, succeeding the victorious Ebbin. Lopez defeated Stephanie Clifford 66 percent to 34 percent with all precincts reporting. Lopez will be running unopposed in the fall.
Finally, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos will be getting a bigger office. Stamos handily fended off defense attorney David Deane in the race for Commonwealth’s Attorney in Arlington. Stamos captured 82 percent of the vote to Deane’s 18 percent. Stamos does not have a challenger in the general election.
Arlington elections officials say that 10.3 percent of the county’s active registered voters cast a ballot during today’s election.
“Not so bad for [a] predicted slow primary day [with an] earthquake,” officials said via Twitter.
Here is the unedited response from Barbara Favola:
I am running for the State Senate because I want to create a Virginia that is more progressive, more compassionate and more inclusive and I offer the skills and experience necessary make this vision a reality. I ask for your vote on Tuesday, August 23rd.
My 14 years of experience in local government and my work with leaders around the region have prepared me to be an effective legislator. As a leader in the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo), I have already cultivated many relationships with lawmakers. The Washington Post noted: “She is the stronger, more substantive candidate and will make a better senator.”
As your Senator, I will work to strengthen the partnership between the state and local government. I will work to insure that the state invests in the kinds of things that will make our future brighter. K-12 public education is one such investment.
We need to put a great teacher in every classroom, and produce graduates able to compete against anyone anywhere in the world.
I am absolutely committed to improving access for Northern Virginians to our State system of higher education. I believe that the Northern VA community college should have the capacity and resources necessary to serve each eligible student Virginia’s prosperity depends upon everyone having the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams. Yes, the Dream Act is a good thing for Virginia.
Part of a brighter future is restoring our rivers and streams, and the entire Chesapeake Bay to its sparkling vibrancy. I currently chair the MWCOG Chesapeake Bay Committee, and, as your Senator I will continue my work to insure that the state’s commitment to cleaning up the Bay is unwavering. The Sierra Club is supporting my candidacy.
Good public schools and protecting the environment are Democratic values that affect our day- to -day lives. Insuring that everyone enjoys these benefits, and has access to a brighter future, is a key part of creating a just and fair society – that is one of my core values.
I also strongly believe that state government must protect the rights of individuals, and reinforce one’s ability to pursue happiness. I support Gay marriage and same sex adoptions. The definition of love should not be dictated by the state.
I am endorsed by NARAL, the Virginia Chapter of NOW and the Women’s Campaign Fund because of my long history of being pro-choice. I have worked to insure that reproductive health services are affordable and available to all women, including
Senator Whipple and many other community leaders support my candidacy because you can trust me to fight for our Democratic values.
Artisphere Supervisor Heads to N.J. — Norma Kaplan, the director of Arlington County’s Cultural Affairs division, is heading to New Brunswick, N.J. after 25 years in her current position. Kaplan, who oversaw the creation of Rosslyn’s struggling Artisphere cultural center, will serve as executive director of the New Brunswick Cultural Center. [Washington City Paper]
Sign Intrigue at Areizaga-Soto HQ? — The Jaime Areizaga-Soto campaign for state Senate has been told by several of its volunteers that someone showed up yesterday afternoon at the campaign’s Lee Highway office, took down all the Areizaga-Soto signs and replaced them with signs for his Democratic primary opponent, Barbara Favola.
Broadcaster With Arlington Connection Dies — Nat Allbright, a legendary radio broadcaster who could take simple telegraph accounts of a baseball game and spin it into an exciting play-by-play broadcast, died last month. Allbright’s New York Times obituary notes that he served as the voice of the Dodger Network, which broadcast Brooklyn and then Los Angeles Dodger games across the eastern U.S., from a Washington-area studio. As recently as about 10 years ago, Allbright sold advertising for the Arlington Sun Gazette newspaper. He died in Arlington on July 18, at the age of 87. [New York Times]
Flickr pool photo by Damiec
In the latest round of mudslinging, Barbara Favola is being accused of making “racist comments” regarding the electability of her Democratic primary opponent, Jaime Areizaga-Soto — a charge she is calling “flat out untrue.”
Local Democratic blogger and Areizaga-Soto supporter Lowell Feld says he received a call from Favola last week in which Favola — thinking she was talking to a potential voter and not a vocal online critic — implied that Areizaga-Soto was unelectable because few Latinos live in the 31st District. Favola reportedly also noted that many of the donations to the Areizaga-Soto campaign have come from the candidate’s friends and family in Puerto Rico.
A chorus of elected Areizaga-Soto supporters condemned Favola’s reported remarks.
“I urge all Democrats — and especially my fellow Democratic elected officials — to condemn Barbara Favola’s racist statements that Jaime Areizaga-Soto cannot win or effectively represent us because of his ethnicity,” said Del. David Englin in a statement. “I expect Favola’s campaign will dismiss my comments because my wife is a paid consultant for Areizaga-Soto. However, regardless of my wife’s role in this election, racism is unacceptable, and Democratic voters, activists, and leaders should reject it.”
“It is the same thinking that drove attacks on John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama,” said Del. Scott Surovell. “To suggest that someone like Jaime Areizaga-Soto is unelectable in Northern Virginia because he is Hispanic is not just wrong, it runs counter to our experience in the House of Delegates, the broader nation, and common sense.”
“I can’t think of any justifiable reason why anyone — particularly a Democratic officeholder — would say such things about an ethnic minority candidate,” said Del. Mark Keam.
Favola’s campaign, meanwhile, is fighting back by accusing the Areizaga-Soto campaign of “sink[ing] to a new low.”
“I am deeply saddened by the latest false attacks from Jaime Areizaga-Soto and his supporters,” Favola said in a statement. “It’s an egregious assault on my character and the values I live by in my personal and public life.”
“Jaime Areizaga-Soto and his supporters have made outrageous allegations at me throughout this campaign, but these accusations of racism are flat out untrue,” Favola added. “Mr. Areizaga-Soto and his supporters have sunk to a new low in Northern Virginia Democratic politics”
Favola campaign manager Adam Scott called the accusations of racism “irresponsible.”
“This started with a local blogger — one of Jaime’s biggest supporters — who has hurled baseless accusations against Barbara throughout the campaign,” Scott said. “He admitted his account of his recent phone call with Barbara was only the best of his recollection. Now, Mr. Areizaga-Soto’s campaign sponsored website, staff, and supporters have leveled allegations based on hearsay and comments taken out of context. It’s completely irresponsible.”
Update at 2:15 p.m. — Jaime Areizaga-Soto campaign has issued a statement: “My campaign is about fighting for our entire community. I’ve lived the American dream and I’m disappointed that my opponent thinks so little of the voters of the 31st that she’d think mentioning my ethnic background would win her votes. It’s worth noting that Favola has not denied the acts, merely the interpretation. I’m grateful to the five Delegates for speaking out – including two who have not endorsed me in this race.”
You’d expect that the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance would be a friendly venue for two Democratic candidates who both have voiced a strong pro-equality, pro-LGBT message. For the most part last night, at the AGLA’s forum for primary candidates, it was. But then 31st District state Senate rivals Barbara Favola and Jaime Areizaga-Soto unexpectedly had some of the negativity of their campaigns thrown back at them.
“I have to say to both of you, I am disgusted and appalled by this campaign,” Betsey Wildhack, a past president of AGLA who’s active in local Democratic politics, said during the forum’s question-and-answer session.
“I don’t understand how you all can present this as the best the party has to offer, with these constant negative attacks,” Wildhack said, as heads nodded in agreement in the audience. “How in the world will any of you beat [Republican 31st District candidate] Caren Merrick when you have laid out her campaign against both of you?”
Favola responded first.
“Well, that’s a very interesting observation,” she said. “Certainly this campaign has been far more robust and lively — and some would say has had more negative a tone — than we have seen in Arlington. I don’t think this campaign has in any way damaged either of us for the general election. I think what it has done is enabled two candidates to develop strong organizations to knock on thousands of doors. We in effect had a six month trial period of really kicking into gear a first-rate campaign team, so that really has been an advantage.”
“Fortunately in Arlington, [Democrats] have a long tradition of coming together after a primary,” she added. “I’m very confident… I know that the November election will turn blue for our seat.”
Areizaga-Soto then weighed in, insisting that his negative mailers were focused on “the facts” while Favola’s focused on “smear attacks and false attacks.”
“All of a sudden I have destroyed the Amazon and destroyed the American economy by being a second-year associate in downtown law firms in D.C… I am very disappointed in the mud that has been thrown in this campaign, especially when it’s not based in facts like all the pieces that my opponent has raised,” he said. “I haven’t raised false claims against my opponent’s records, I have gone to the facts. And those facts the voters deserve to know in the primary, if not they were going to know them in the general.”
“You have a right to your own opinions, but not to your own facts… I’ve always talked to the truth. I stood to the facts,” Areizaga-Soto added. “It’s been overwhelmingly positive.”