Favola’s Senate Victory Opens Door for Special Election

by Katie Pyzyk November 9, 2011 at 11:35 am 4,541 39 Comments

Update at 1:35 p.m. — Peter Owen and Alan Howze both told ARLnow.com this afternoon that they are not planning on running in the County Board special election.

Now that we know Barbara Favola is moving on to the Virginia Senate, the question becomes what happens to her soon-to-be vacated position on the Arlington County Board?

Even though her Senate victory last night is public knowledge, a special election process cannot move forward until Favola formally resigns from the County Board. She can do that any time between now and her January swearing-in. After that, the courts will issue an order for a special election.

But timing really is everything, considering next year’s already bustling election schedule. A special election cannot be held within 55 days of a primary or general election, making it a challenge to fit it in between the presidential primary on March 6 and the U.S. Senate primary on June 12. Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg said if Favola resigns immediately, voters would likely head to the polls in early January. If she waits until the end of this year, the special election would be closer to mid-April.

“It looks like it’s going to be a busy election year for us next year,” Lindberg said.

The candidates’ filing deadline is typically 40 to 45 days before the special election. Lindberg said so far only two people have started the ball rolling for a potential 2012 County Board run: Terron Sims and Melissa Bondi. That number is expected to grow now that Favola’s future is known. Potential candidates legally cannot file until a special election is announced. They can, however, still file for campaign accounts for the November 2012 election, and amend the request when a special election is called.

The Sun Gazette also lists Alan Howze, Peter Owen, Libby Garvey, Peter Fallon, Stacey Whyte and Kim Klingler as possible Democratic contenders. Klingler, who spent last night getting in a final push for votes for Favola, told us she wanted to wait until after last night’s election to make her final decision.

“I am highly considering running for County Board,” Klingler said. “It’s going to be a very crowded field. I’m highly aware of that.”

She said there are some final logistics to work out and a formal announcement is coming soon.

Green Party County Board candidate Audrey Clement, who lost to Democrats Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada last night, said she’s also considering running. However, Clement said her candidacy hinges on whether she receives the endorsement of her local party. If she doesn’t receive the endorsement, she’ll be reluctant to run.

Republicans may also be interested in nominating a contender. While no Republicans challenged incumbents Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada this year, history suggests that a special election may be the party’s best chance of gaining a toe-hold on the Board. The last Republican to serve as an Arlington County Board member was Mike Lane, who won a special election in 1999 (but then promptly lost in the general election several months later).

Once voters choose the new board member in a special election, things move pretty quickly. The winner has to submit a final financial report, and the election must be certified. Lindberg said that usually happens within 24 to 48 hours.

“We really want to get them sworn in and seated right away,” Lindberg said. “The process is pretty straightforward like every other other election, it’s just more condensed as far as the timing.”

  • novasteve

    That’s it. I’m running under the Anti Nanny State League.

    Or will things be better with another liberal on this democrat only board?

    • KalashniKEV

      “Or will things be better with another liberal on this democrat only board?”

      Things will get better, this is why- Babs is a frothing-at-the-mouth Moonbat Lefty. At the state level she can act as an antagonist, but will be easily overruled. In order to find a more radical replacement for her on the County Board, you would have to combine the DNA of Mao, Lenin, Michael Moore, and Sean Penn… and that technology does not exist yet.

      • Burger

        No matter yesterday’s result it was going to be a win for those with conservative viewpoints. Either FAvola lost meaning there was another GOP senator in richmond or she won and someone with half a brain would get on the county board.

        BTW, the post article on the election was hilarious. It is almost like people are screaming they hate the county board.

      • West Arlington

        “combine the DNA of Mao, Lenin, Michael Moore, and Sean Penn”

        wait until you meet Melissa Bondi, who has been running for the next board seat for years and years (even when there was no opening). An unemployed, non-property owner, without kids, and who thinks “affordable housing” governs everything. Oh, and also a Zimmerman sycophant. Zimmy recently appointed her to a economic development commission — great, an unemployed person demanding benefits from companies wanting to create businesses.

        • Shirley

          Thank you.
          Miss bondi is probably the most unqualified person to ever run for county board.
          It shows that Zimmie really thinks it is all a game.

          • Arlington Voter

            Woah, woah, woah. As someone who has worked alongside Melissa Bondi for years, there is not a smarter, more qualified person in Arlington to serve on the county board. These comments are ridiculous.

          • Shirley

            i can go into an hours long character assassination but won’t.
            you and I can respectfully disagree.
            But even Walter is more qualified.
            I’ve read her press release about her qualifications and experience.. it is the most puffed-up blow-hard thing I’ve ever read in my life. part of the reason she has so much experience is that she has NEVER done anything for very long. expert on everything.

          • Dana


            I’m really surprised to hear you say Melissa is unqualified because she’s self employed. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are what this country is built on and our county could really use the creativity and outside the box thinking Melissa brings to the table. I’ve worked with her and can attest to her smarts. She is also no pushover. I really like her.

            Also, the Board seat is a big responsibility that takes a meaningful time commitment.mare you suggesting she (unlike any other board member) an entrepreneur/private contractor job status is almost required.

            Finally, we’re you aware that over 44% of the residents in our county have no children and rent? New demographic data (available free at the library if your interested) shows that the vast majority of our population fits Melisssa’s profile. I thinks it would be fantastic to have that constituency presented since they are such an important part of our community (and tax base).

            Please reconsider your criticism.

    • FW

      Do we have a Virginia affiliate for the Rent-Is-Too-Damn-High Party?

      • anon


      • novasteve

        It’s the DC area that’s the problem with rents. The federal government creating an artificial economy drives up demand for housing, which means costs go up. Living in other areas of Virginia is very affordable.

        • Josh S

          Love the use of the term “artificial.”

          I’m guessing the economy in LA is artificial because it’s based on the film / tv industry?

          The economy in Hawaii is artificial because its based on tourism?

          The economy in Boston is artificial because its based on universities and lawyers?

          But let’s see, where then is the “real” economy? Is it “real” in North Carolina because it’s based on hogs? Is it “real” in Montana beause it’s based on ranches? “Real” in West Virginia beause it’s based on extracting coal and natural gas?

          What about Key West and margaritas?

          Do they have a “real” or an “artificial” economy up in Green Bay during the football season?

          You can be damn sure it’s an “artificial” economy on the International Space Station – they don’t even have an official currency up there!

          But here’s a real brain teaser – what about WoW? Flesh and blood human beings spending actual legal currency for things that no one can see, touch, hear, feel, or taste? That’s plain ol bizarre.

          Makes you think, doesn’t it novasteve?

          It doesn’t?

          • Carl

            None of the examples you list represent entities that compel all the wage earners in the country to turn in part of their earnings under penalty of law, and/or can print money out of thin air, to support their “economy”. Really bad analogies.

          • Josh S



            Nevermind, then.

    • Josh S

      Better than what?

    • drax

      Maybe you should try the 1% Sex Life Party.

    • Justin Russo

      Or will things be better with another liberal on this democrat only board?

      If that is the choice of the Arlington electorate, who are you to question it? Or don’t you believe in democracy?

    • just a thought

      Novasteve, maybe you ought to seriously consider running. I promise I am not trying to antagonize you. You are clearly extremely unhappy with the politicians in place (that run unopposed), and you have a lot of opinions on how things should be run. sS instead of complaining, do something about it! If you truly are that passionate about the community and the issues that you see as problematic, take the steps to make yourself an instrument of change rather than another squeaky wheel.

    • MB

      Please run, Steve. I’m sure that all of the people who go on here about how horribly run Arlington is would gladly put their time and money into the effort.

      “A stick in every car, and an ash tray in every bar!”

      How could you not run?

  • novasteve

    Can someone who is NOT a liberal PLEASE run so we at least have an option?

  • Carl

    Does that mean it has to be at least 55 days before or after a primary? Because there are only 98 days between 3/6 and 6/12, which seems to preclude that possibility.

    • Sorry the article is a bit ambiguous. The law states that “No special election shall be held within the 55 days prior to a general or primary election.”

      • Question

        Can a special election to fill the empty seat be schedule ON a primary election day?

        It seems to make sense to have an election at the same time of an already scheduled election. Much easy for the voters and election officials.

        March 6th sounds like a good day.

  • G Clifford Prout

    Jim Hurysz and John Antonelli. Here’s you’re chance. I can’t wait for the debates.

    • Rick

      Oh man, Jim Hurysz. I remember him from my nimby the chicken days. How’s he doing?

    • Josh S

      John Antonelli?!?!?!

      Sure, the debates would be spectacular and paramedics would be wise to stand by so as to treat all the complications from elevated blood pressure…

      But the man once equated users of the Department of Human Services with sewage. He’s a candidate for the loony bin, not public office.

      • FrenchyB

        Agreed, but there are a few people here that would vote for him anyway.

  • Chris G.

    She could resign now and let her vacancy be filled in January.

    • Chris G.

      could was supposed to be should.

  • TGEoA

    Howze. Let’s elect someone with no experience running anything. Oh wait, Jose Tjjeda set a precedent.

  • Basic Human Needs

    What about John Vihstadt? Republican but active leader of APS bond campaigns. Has supported Democrats for School Board and actively campaigned for Theo Stamos. Served on Housing, Planning Commissions, PTAs.

    We could get some reasonable cross-party dialogue with him.

  • Joe

    I’d vote for a trained monkey over any of the current County Board members. But people get what they deserve. Arlington County is so poorly governed because so many are tied to pulling the lever for one party no matter how poor the candidates.

  • Dorothy

    John Vihstadt would be an excellent choice, as would his wife, Mary. Moderate, intelligent, reasonable Republicans. But would not be in lockstep with the five we have now.

  • Dave Schutz

    She should leave the Board immediately. As Mr Areizaga-Soto pointed out (many times!) she has taken large contributions from people who regularly have business before the Board – if her contributors have issues before the Board in coming months, she has the unpleasant choice of recusing herself from those issues or voting with an appearance of conflict. The County is better off with somebody fresh as soon as possible.

    • West Arlington

      Was there a tradition that Board members resigned as soon as they won the primary for a different office?

  • Suburban Not Urban

    So I have a question – how long does the winner of the special election sit on the board. Just till Nov. or does Ms Favola’s term run longer and they get to complete it?

    • Wayne Kubicki

      Barbara’s Board term ends in December 2012. Whoever wins the special election would have to run again in November 2012.

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