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Candidate Withdraws from School Board Race

A little more than two months after announcing he was running, a candidate for Arlington School Board is dropping out. Larry Fishtahler has withdrawn from the race.

In February, Fishtahler announced his interest in receiving an endorsement from the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC). Now that Fishtahler has dropped out, candidate Noah Simon and incumbent Emma Violand-Sanchez are the presumptive Democratic endorsees for the two open positions in November’s election.

(One of the open positions is the School Board seat formerly held by now-County Board member Libby Garvey.)

In a press release, Fishtahler said, “From the time I began I knew that to be successful a number of conditions should be met by the end of March. Over the spring break I determined that a necessary condition had not been achieved. I have been honored by the support I have received during this campaign, and look forward to continuing to work with Emma Violand-Sanchez, Noah Simon, and others to make Arlington’s schools even better than they already are.”

Fishtahler had been the Democratic candidate in the 2003 race, but lost to incumbent Dave Foster, a Republican.

ACDC had planned on holding a caucus on May 9 and 12 to determine which two of the three candidates would receive endorsements. Because only two candidates remain for the open spots, the caucus has been canceled. Instead, there will be a vote at the party’s next general membership meeting, on May 2, to confirm the two endorsements.

Both of the remaining candidates issued statements of their own following Fishtahler’s withdrawal.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to run for School Board with the endorsement of the Arlington Democrats and look forward to closely working with Emma during the remainder of the campaign,” Simon said. “I thank the Arlington Democrats and also commend Larry Fishtahler for his tireless work in support of Arlington’s students.”

Simon is a father of two APS elementary students. He says he’s committed to addressing overcrowding problems at Arlington Public Schools, closing achievement disparities, recruiting and retaining high quality staff, promoting health, fitness and nutrition education, and supplementing instruction with technology.

Violand-Sanchez said, “For the last three years, I have been honored to serve as an Arlington School Board Member, and I am excited to be able to run again with the Democrats’ endorsement to work for Arlington’s students. Though we have our challenges, Arlington’s schools remain one of our greatest community assets. I want to thank Larry Fishtahler for his contributions to our schools and thank the Arlington Democrats and all my supporters for their strong support.”

Voting for the Arlington School Board takes place on November 6, during the general election. Those who wish to run must qualify by June 12.

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