Dems Sweep Arlington Races

by ARLnow.com November 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm 6,502 101 Comments

(Updated at 2:05 a.m.) It was a joyous election night for local Democrats, who are claiming victory in all 14 races run in Arlington.

Democrat Barbara Favola has won a decisive victory over Republican businesswoman Caren Merrick in the race for state Senate in the 31st District — one of the most closely-watched races in Northern Virginia. With all precincts reporting, Favola had 58 percent of the vote to Merrick’s 42 percent. Favola, who has spent 14 years on the Arlington County Board, was ebullient over the hard-fought win.

“It’s exhilarating, it’s humbling, it’s exciting,” she said of having the race called in her favor. Favola credited her campaign staff and volunteers — who knocked on 51,000 doors and made 125,000 phone calls — for bringing home the win.

“We have the best field team in the state,” Favola declared.

Favola said her first action in Richmond will be securing funds for Northern Virginia Community College. Arlington political watchers can now look forward to a special election process in 2012 to fill her soon-to-be-vacant County Board seat.

Incumbent Democratic State Senator Janet Howell has emerged victorious over Republican challenger Patrick Forrest. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Howell has 60 percent of the vote to Forrest’s 40 percent of the vote. Howell serves the 32nd state Senate District, which now includes part of Arlington as a result of redistricting this year.

Democratic Del. Adam Ebbin will be moving to the state Senate. Ebbin has easily defeated Republican Tim McGhee in the race for the state Senate’s 30th District. With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Ebbin has 66 percent of the vote to McGhee’s 34 percent. Ebbin, the first openly gay member of the House of Delegates, will now become the first openly gay member of the Virginia Senate.

Democrats Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada will be back on the Arlington County Board for another four years. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Hynes and Tejada have 42 percent and 40 percent of the vote, respectively, to Green Party candidate Audrey Clement’s 17 percent.

“It is a pleasure to serve you, and it will be a pleasure to serve you for the next four years,” Tejada told an assembled crowd of 100+ supporters at a joint Democratic victory party at Bailey’s in Ballston.

Del. Bob Brink, meanwhile, has won handily against his two challengers and will serve another two years in the Virginia House of Delegates. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Brink has 69 percent of the vote to 24 percent for independent candidate Kathy Gillette-Mallard and 7 percent for Independent Green candidate Janet Murphy. Brink represents Virginia’s 48th District, which includes parts of north Arlington and McLean.

Elsewhere around Arlington, unopposed Democratic candidates cruised to victory.

Incumbent Del. David Englin will return to his 45th District seat, which includes parts of south Arlington. Del. Patrick Hope will also return to his 47th District seat.

Alfonso Lopez will become one of the first Latinos elected to the Virginia General Assembly, after running unopposed for the House of Delegates in the 49th District. Lopez pledged that Arlington Democrats will “wear our progressive values on our sleeves in Richmond.”

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos now has the shorter title of Commonwealth’s Attorney. Stamos is replacing the long-serving Dick Trodden as Arlington’s top prosecutor.

Other winners include Sheriff Beth Arthur, Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy, Treasurer Frank O’Leary and Arlington School Board Member Abby Raphael, all of whom were re-elected.

Rep. Jim Moran (D) said Democrats won for three reasons.

“It’s good organization, very good candidates and the right politics,” Moran told ARLnow.com. “Northern Virginia and Arlington want to move forward, not backward. They don’t want to fight the old cultural wars of the last century.”

Moran said that Favola also prevailed due to her experience on the County Board.

“Barbara has devoted her whole life to the community,” Moran said. “People like Barbara Favola are going to be working for everyone, whether they’re rich or poor or whatever demographic.”

“I’m delighted,” Moran said of the Democratic sweep in Arlington. “These are the people I’m looking forward to working with.”

The Arlington County Democratic Committee, with its well-honed precinct and get-out-the-vote operations, was another factor that helped propel Democrats to victory in Arlington.

ACDC Chair Mike Lieberman said party activists made a total of 40,000 phone calls and knocked on 12,000 doors in Arlington during the general election cycle.

  • Thes

    Glad Arlingtonians came out and voted. The people have spoken.

    • ArlForester

      30% and I seriously doubt many of them are anything but transplants.

      • Horst

        Kinda like you….go back to your flyover state and shoot some guns or something.

        • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

          Showing an intelligent level of discourse and debate…

          • CW

            Quid pro quo

      • Thes

        To the contrary, the statistics show that Arlington short-timers are much *less* likely to vote in the off-year local elections than in, say the Presidential election. The reason the turnout is so (relatively) low is precisely because it’s predominantly the long-termers who are bothering to participate. Nice try, though.

        Democracy has spoken in Arlington; and again it has chosen Arlington Democrats.

      • LVGuy

        I’m not sure why transplants shouldn’t vote. They live here just like you. You’re not special.

      • Chief Powhatan

        Vote, not vote, all transplants to me.

        • Loocy

          Ran into a little group of my neighbors at the polls.
          Most were born in Arlington or have lived here at least 30 years. Old timers were definitely voting, can’t tell you about the short-timers because I don’t know that many of those.

  • novasteve

    Boo, but not shocking. The ballot reminded me of what Iraqis I knew would say the ballot looked like during the time of Saddam hussein, or of people who had lived in the Soviet Union.

    • LVGuy

      How is that different from places like boring-place, USA where Republicans dominate the ballot?

      • Sikudhani

        Libby Logic!!!

      • DarkHeart

        Per last POTUS election, that would be Oklahoma. Obama didn’t carry a single county.

        • drax

          It’s steve.

  • Terry

    Yeah novasteve that’s totally logical. Heavily Democratic county = Iraq. I see your logic there.

    Glad Democrats in Arlington came out and voted for same candidates.

    • novasteve

      NO CHOICES = iraq

      • AllenB

        The difference is, in Iraq they are purposely kept off the ballot. In Arlington, the Republicans are in such disarray, they can’t even field candidates.

        Get it now?

        • Patrick

          Kind of like democrats in the rest of VA? They only fielded 26 candidates for 40 senate seats.

      • we are the 99%

        Yes, but Steve KNOWS people in Iraq. Like, LOTS of them. NO DOUBT.

      • jack

        That comparison makes ZERO sense.

      • CW

        There are lots of choices. Republicans could all leave Arlington, and then there would be no argument. Lots of republicans could move here, and their candidates would have more clout and better chances of winning. It’s not that there’s no choice, it’s the simple human fact that like attracts like because people feel comfortable around people like them. So liberals generally move to liberal areas, etc. Pretty straightforward.

        Come on Steve, you’re smarter than this. Iraq comparisons are demeaning to yourself.

        • drax

          “demeaning to yourself”

          LOL. You must be new here. Have you met steve?

    • KalashniKEV

      To clarify for all of you, go back to Steve’s original post and read where he said, “under Saddam Hussein.” The old Iraqi National Assembly was all Baa’thist. Nobody else ever won, and no Baa’thist Leaders were ever given the opportunity to amass any power- lest they become a threat to Saddam.

      I think a better analogy would be the current era Ad Dujayl city council, but I’m not explaining that one…

      • jack

        But no one is keeping republicans from running here, and the democrats only win because they get more votes in elections. It’s like Iraq because his preferred party doesn’t get more votes? If he wants more choice on the ballot, encourage republicans to put candidates on the ballot. It’s clear that democrats aren’t just winning races in which they are unopposed…

        • KalashniKEV

          It’s not a good analogy, but I think some people were confused by pre/ post OIF Iraq. A better example is the post OIF state of democracy in the Shia city of Dujayl- in majority Sunni SaD Province… which would also be a terrible analogy.

  • ArlForester

    I find these results to be shocking. I also am shocked every morning when the sun comes up.

  • Shirley

    That is a ton o write in votes…

    • Aaron

      What percentage of them are for Remy? It would be nice to know if the ArlNow community made its voice heard.

      • Chris

        Novasteve is hardly the ArlNow community, despite how much he blathers around here.

  • Shirley

    State board of elections is reporting that less than half of fairfax votes are In 44% and only 25% of loudoun is in.
    Soooo did ArlNow get caught in the propaganda machine?

    • AllenB

      Nooooooo… with 78% of precincts reporting, the Washington Post is calling it for Favola. No propaganda… just cold, hard numbers.

      • Shirley

        Well the state board of elections, not the Washington post, counts the votes…

        And they show most of fairfax and lowdown gave not reported. While it is 72% of precincts it is only 22% of voters.

        Thats all

        • AllenB

          And voter turnout is projected to be only 30%. And the Washington Post has it at 82% of precincts.

          Go to sleep, Shirley. No conspiracy here. The election is over.

          • Shirley

            Allenb — not suggesting a conspiracy just encouraging ArlNow to look at all votes, not just Arlington. And low and behold the margin of victory did change overnight — once we actually got results from loudoun and fairfax. Good to see Babs winning, btw.

    • Smoke_Jaguar4

      ArlNow may be premature, but it looks like Faviola will win.
      I just ran a projection based on current numbers; Faviola will still win the election with 57%. The only real wildcard is the absentee ballots, but that probably won’t make a sufficient difference.

      • AllenB

        Great projection – she won with 58%.

        • drax

          I just clicked on the link above this morning, and if it’s up to date, she won by 71%.

          • drax

            Oops, 71% is just the Arlington part of the district.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    It doesn’t make sense for the county board #’s to be reported as totaling to 100% when you vote for 2 of 3 candidates – it should total to 200%.

    • Thes

      There are also “undervotes” — meaning people who cast only one vote or zero votes in the race. Unless you know how many people cast only one vote and not two (and this number is never reported), you don’t know what percent it should be. However, it’s certainly more than 100% and less than 200%

      • Suburban Not Urban

        I agree but I would expect it to be within 1% or so

  • Roquer

    Guess the Republican Party didn’t want to waste the money in a severely uphill battle. This all-county vote has got to go. It isn’t just because the Dems have a lock on it, it’s because minorities that live in the minority neighborhoods have no chance to win. Therefore their voices aren’t heard.

  • TMP

    And once again, voting in Arlington felt completely useless. So many races with only one candidate and none of the alternative candidates I voted for had a chance.

  • Steamboat Willie

    So bitter it’s hilarious.

  • novasteve

    Would be nice if the democrats lose the senate though.

    • steve85

      you must not be from NoVa. it would be nice if you didnt write that comment.

      • KalashniKEV

        I would also like to see the Dems lose the senate. They’ve embarrassed Northern Virginia enough.

        • Carl

          It appears they have lost it. Today is actually a great day to be a Republican in Virginia.

          Republicans took about 6 more seats away from Democrats to solidify their majority in the House. Democrats failed to flip any Senate seats their way, even failing to win an open seat election. The Republican statewide majority edged even closer to northern Virginia by winning over control of Loudoun’s government.

          Wresting control of the Democrat’s only remaining foothold on power in the state by evening up the Senate will/would be the icing on the cake. All that remains is whether the Democrats will petition for a recount in the 17th, the final Senate seat that lost them their majority last night.

          Democracy has spoken across Virginia.

          • KalashniKEV

            Oh, wow… I didn’t know that. You just made my day!!!

            I also think we will get to see a little more RED in Nova as the corridor continues to develop and improve. (wishful thinking)

          • Carl

            Not to mention Favola has been marginalized to a minority freshman position in Richmond. I’m having a hard time finding anything for Virginia Republicans to not be happy about today.

          • KalashniKEV

            Merrick. I’m sad about that. She should have soundly defeated Favola given her qualifications. Plus I would have liked to send Tejada to the unemployment line.

          • Carl

            Well, yeah it would be awesome to win everything. But there was no shocking bad news to wake up to this morning I guess is what I meant.

          • drax

            So democracy is awesome when Republicans win statewide, but it’s a sham when Democrats win in Arlington. Got it.

          • Carl

            Who are you responding to?

          • drax

            You, but not just you.

          • Carl

            OK, we let us just stipulate that nowhere did I say that democracy is a sham in Arlington, or anywhere else.

          • drax

            Fair enough. Didn’t mean to implicate you in that.

          • Well, the Republicans ran opposed statewide. Dems ran primarily unopposed in Arlington. I’m not sure I’d call it a sham, but it does paint a picture of the landscape doesn’t it?

        • Loocy

          “Gov. Bob McDonnell said the GOP-controlled General Assembly will be more likely to push a ‘pro-life, pro-family, pro-marriage’ agenda.”

          Great … so for all that talk about jobs, education, transportation, and fiscal responsibility, the primary concern of this group will be legislating morality.

          • dk

            Bait and switch? I’m shocked.

      • Josh S

        My money’s on steve85 by TKO. $10? Anyone?

    • curiousgeorge

      I always felt that the nutjobs in Richmond help balance out the nutjobs in Arlington. If there is complete gridlock then at elast they can do no harm.

      • CW

        That’s worked great at the Federal level, hasn’t it? You must be very happy with our country’s progress over the past 3 years, given that statement!!

        • curiousgeorge

          Well 2 of the 3 years were one party rule at the federal level so not really the same analogy.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    I hadn’t really grasped the makeup of the rejiggered 31st. Even though it looks big on the district map, because of the low density in the strip in Fairfax and Loudon along the river, I don’t know why a candidate would care much about anything other than courting the Arlington vote. According to http://www.vpap.org/elections/district/106 – there are 82,730 voters in AC, 46,024 in FX and 16,607 in LC.

    • Shirley

      It s an odd district that was migrated to ‘most likely’ stay D.

  • Andy

    I wrote myself in for every vacancy. I figured I couldn’t do any worse than all of these politicians (Democrats or Republicans). It also provided an alternative to all of those running otherwise unopposed.

    • Loocy

      Fine, but why don’t you ACTUALLY run for something? Last spring, when many people I knew were unhappy with Abby Raphael, I tried to encourage people to go against her for the endorsement (the virtual primary). No one would do it, and I couldn’t, so she was unopposed. Write-ins are completely useless unless it is an organized campaign. If you want alternatives, it starts with people being willing to go out on a limb and run for office.

  • KalashniKEV

    Babs looks cute when she’s not in Shrew mode.

    • Josh S

      Yes, the decision to lose the glasses was a good one.

      For a fifty-something, she is cute.

  • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

    Same ‘ol, same ‘ol… here we go again. Nice job, Arlington. (tic)

  • Actually, Merrick getting 42% of the vote is impressive given the lack of really trying in an obnoxiously overwhelmingly blue territory. Maybe she should have tried.

  • DarkHeart

    I don’t recognize that bar. Where is it?

    • bemused bystander

      Bailey’s, Ballston Mall. One of the few you haven’t checked out?

      • ArlDem

        Ah. memories of watching Obama win Virginia at Bailey’s in 2008….

        • KalashniKEV

          Where are you going to watch him lose in 2012?


          • rankin

            For him to lose, the Republicans have to field a candidate that can win.

            So, that’ll be four more years of Obama, then.

            Fine with me.

          • KalashniKEV

            He needs to step down NOW. He’s destroying the country. How many more bailouts and scam-ulus packages can he fit in four more years? Plus I have a feeling the radical social agenda that we were all afraid of will start to materialize- as he can now go for broke in a second term.

          • nerd

            TARP waw passed under Bush….but I’m guessing you already knew that, just being loose with the facts as usual

          • drax

            Bush did a stimulus package and bailouts too, after the crisis started on his watch.

            Radical social agenda? You realize that the more you say such goofy things the more people are skeptical of you, right?

          • KalashniKEV

            …didn’t say I was a Bush fan either. We need a real leader with actual qualifications to hold office.

          • Josh S

            You’re hilarious. There is plenty of blame to go around, no doubt, but to single out Obama? When the country’s decline is decades in the making and has impacted everyone but a small minority of very rich, very well-connected and very motivated plutocrats and you choose to pin the blame on one guy and a guy who’s not really part of that crowd?

            I mean, the knee-jerk, party-line spouting, non-thinking nonsense is really nothing short of hilarious.

            Who is “we?”

          • playa

            everyone, it’s pretty clear KEV just likes to rile everyone up for a debate. ignore him enough, and he and his strange, uninformed opinions will go away.

          • drax

            Against whom? Such a strong field of intelligent, inspiring, sane candidates running for the GOP nomination.

  • Sad Voter

    The County Board at-large seats are designed to avoid true democracy by diluting any challenge to incumbents.

    For decades the Republicans had a lock on the elections, but now the Democrats have the lock. In 25 years, the then-incumbents will have a lock. Regardless of party, it is an incumbent protection system that is not good for governing by the people.

    Assuming we were starting with a fresh design for a new urban county, would anyone other than central party apologists suggest a county-wide voting system in lieu of representative districts?

    The current central committee (and Thes the apologist) will no doubt gloat about the glories of the fatherland and the brilliance of the central committee.

    Arlington residents need to wake up.

    • South Arlington

      See the previous LVGuy post – every district went blue in this election. Changing the system to representative districts would make no difference. The reality is a heavy majority of Arlingtonian voters support the current Government and their policies.

      • Sad Voter

        Representative districts is not a blue v. red issue. It’s an incumbent protection system v. representative democracy system issue.

        Challengers have little chance to knock off an incumbent when the votes are diluted county-wide. A challenger, of course, could be from within the same party and I suspect that even with districts the current make up of the Board would be all blue. However, a lot less group-think, central committee control would prevail.

        Other than Arlington, how many other large urban areas in America have all at-large voting districts? I found this lack of representative voting districts very odd when I moved here 20 years ago and over time have found it more than odd — it’s a corruption of traditional government by the people.

        Regardless if I like the incumbents or not, the system is flawed when it is so heavily favors incumbents.

        • drax

          How would districts make it easier for challengers?

          • Suburban Not Urban

            When you are talking about politics at the local level – representing areas forces you to actually talk to your neighbors and act on their concerns. Tejada lives less than a 1/2 mile from me, yet not once has he knocked on my door, or come to a Civic association meeting.

  • Look, it’s Jim Halpert

    Guy right behind Babs in striped shirt looks like John Kracyzinski but less goofy.

  • Jennifer

    I am a transplant, moved here 4 years ago.

    I have been registered to vote in Arlington for the past 4 years.

    I read up on all of the candidates, looked at their voting records, read their essays.

    I voted for who I thought best represented the values improtant to me, and for the Arlington in which I want to live.

    Almost all of the candidates I voted for were victorious last night.

    I’m sorry if you are upset about the results, but your comments sound like sour grapes. If you are trying to be heard, being snide in a public forum is not having the effect you are hoping it will. Tweak your message to be a little less acerbic, maybe people will start listening.

    I love ARLnow, but these comments are such a turn-off sometimes

    • drax

      Welcome, Jennifer!

    • dk


      I’m also a transplant, not originally from this area, although I lived in DC for most of my adult life. We moved from DC to Arlington 3 years ago. We immediately registered to vote and registered our cars. We bought a house and faithfully pay our taxes to the county and the state. We send our children to Arlington public schools. My husband has taught in APS for almost a decade and in the state of VA for 20 years. Any pension he receives in retirement is managed and distributed by the state.We drive on Arlington streets and VA highways. We seek and receive medical care in the state. The car and home-owners and health insurance we use is regulated by the state. We use county libraries and parks and breathe VA air. We drink water and heat our home with water and gas provided by the county and rely on the county to take our sewage and garbage away. If we have an emergency, we call the county police or fire department.

      Tell me again why a short-timer like me shouldn’t care about the governance of Arlington and VA?

      • CW

        Because you are being logical and that is not allowed by the bitter folks who hang on to the memory of the good old days right after the war, when ice cream sundaes were a nickel and Clarendon was a bunch of hardware stores and parking lots. Now get off my lawn!

  • JMB

    Dems sweep Arlington Races

    Sun rises in east this morning.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    Hmmmm. In other breaking news, water is wet, dogs bark, and fish swim.

  • Joe

    Arlington’s local government is corrupt and ineffective in my opinion because of continuous one party rule. What’s that saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely? Arlington is prime evidence of that.

  • John Andre

    The big issue: Evidently the Republicans have won enough races downstate to gain a tie vote and [with Lt. Gov. Bolling’s tie-breaker] control of state government for the next two years. Perhaps Arlington County should consider seceding from Virginia and [possibly with the District of Columbia, Alexandria, Falls Church City and the County and City of Fairfax] applying for Statehood as our 51st State. West Virginia did it over 100 years ago under similar circumstances. We would then have control over our own highway, firearms, taxation and other policies without interference from Richmond and possibly without the Dillon Rule.

    • Filbert

      DO IT

  • Blair

    Merrick is going to be appointed to the Airport’s Authority Board. You heard it here first. Unless you read it in the Post earlier today.


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