Arlington County Democrats were joined by Sen. Mark Warner at their annual Labor Day Chili Cook-off in Lyon Park on Monday.
Between chatting with local Democratic elected officials and activists, Virginia’s senior U.S. senator cheered on contestants during the event’s popular no-hands-allowed pie eating contest. Finishing first in the contest was Ben Tribbett, of the Not Larry Sabato blog.
The main attraction, of course, was the chili contest. A dozen and a half entries competed for the votes of a panel of judges — the “electoral college” — and for the votes of all attendees — the “popular vote.”
Del. Patrick Hope captured top honors from the popular vote, with attorney Betsey Wildhack and School Board member Noah Simon in second and third respectively. Rep. Jim Moran’s “Animal Lovers Chili,” meanwhile, won the electoral college vote.
Among other attendees at the cookout were all five Arlington County Board members, Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos, state Sen. Adam Ebbin, Del. Bob Brink and Del. Alfonso Lopez, whose son won the cupcake decorating contest.
Barbara Favola’s state Senate campaign is defending a telephone poll that erroneously identified Democratic primary opponent Jaime Areizaga-Soto as a Republican.
The poll, conducted on behalf of the Favola campaign, asked residents negative questions about both candidates. In a statement, the Favola campaign said calling Areizaga a Republican was a “clerical error.”
The Barbara Favola for State Senate Campaign is in the field with a standard political tracking poll.
The final question of the poll asked:
If the election in the Democratic Primary were held today, would you vote for Jaime Areizaga-Soto, the Republican, or Barbara Favola, the Democrat?
The wording of this question is obviously incorrect, and it was caused by a simple cut-and-paste, clerical error.
When the error was brought to our attention, we immediately fixed the question.
Any suggestion this was done as a campaign tactic is entirely incorrect. We apologize if this clerical error caused any confusion among the people who received our poll call.
The kerfuffle, which comes on the heels of criticism of Areizaga-Soto’s negative mailers, has prompted one local political-type to endorse Areizaga-Soto. Ben Tribbett, who was once considering a run for the 31st District state Senate seat that’s being vacated by state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, says that he’s “disappointed” with Favola.
His endorsement statement (after the jump) mimics Del. Bob Brink’s endorsement of Favola, which decried “Karl Rove-style mudslinging” in the race.
Tribbett had been considering running for the seat vacated by the retiring Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple. He would have faced a tough primary battle between County Board member Barbara Favola, who Whipple has endorsed, and Lt. Col. Jaime Areizaga-Soto, who is expected to officially announce his candidacy at tomorrow’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting.
“We have two capable candidates,” Tribbett told ARLnow.com this morning, adding that he was not planning on endorsing either candidate quite yet.
Tribbett said his decision was a personal one that was made tougher because he had been receiving words of encouragement and pledges of financial contributions.
Photo via Twitter
“Having stated in the early weeks of March that I would only make a decision after having an opportunity to actually see the newly drawn 31st Senate District lines, I have reluctantly decided, at this time, not to run for the open Senate seat,” Hope said in a statement. “I intend to seek re-election to the House. Running an effective campaign with the geographical diversity of the new district would take me away from spending quality time with my young family.”
“I’m humbled by the literally hundreds of voters living in the new 31st District who pledged support and encouraged me to run, but my first obligation must be to my family,” he continued. “Spending the time it would take to be victorious in a competitive primary and general election is too high a price for me to have to pay; however, I will not rule out a run for higher office at a future date.”
The redrawn 31st state Senate district, if approved by Gov. Bob McDonnell and the U.S. Department of Justice, will extend from North Arlington up into Fairfax and Loudoun counties, with the Potomac River as an eastern border. Currently, County Board member Barbara Favola is the only Democrat to announce her candidacy for the seat, which was vacated by the retiring Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple.
Hope’s decision, however, clears a path for another potential candidate to enter the race. Political consultant and blogger Ben Tribbett, who has been flirting with the idea of running for public office, issued a statement today that stopped short of announcing himself as a candidate, but suggested that he’s at least seriously considering it.
In his first term in office, Patrick Hope has established an outstanding record of progressive activism. I was very much looking forward to being one of Patrick’s strongest supporters if he had decided to seek the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 31st Senate District. I look forward to an opportunity in the future to support Hope for higher office.
Now that Patrick Hope has decided not to seek this Senate nomination, a large number of his supporters and other Virginia Democrats have urged me to run. The voters in this Senate district deserve a strong progressive voice in the Virginia Senate, and they also deserve someone who will address local community concerns in all three counties within this district. If I decide to run, I am confident I will provide them with that voice.