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UPDATED: Arlington Democrats Celebrate Victories

Alfonso Lopez speaks at the Democratic victory party on Columbia Pike(Updated at 11:30 p.m.) Arlington Democrats once again have reason to celebrate on election night.

Democratic incumbents have cruised to reelection in all local races. Meanwhile, Democratic voters in Arlington and Northern Virginia have helped push two statewide candidates to victory.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe has been elected the next governor of Virginia, defeating Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Libertarian Robert Sarvis. Democrat Ralph Northam, meanwhile, has defeated Republican E.W. Jackson in the race for lieutenant governor.

Voting in Virginia ended at 7:00 p.m., on an election day when the gubernatorial race was garnering the lion’s share of headlines and voter interest. In Arlington, without a Republican candidate in any local race, third party candidates like Audrey Clement, Green Party candidate for Arlington County Board, were left to provide the opposition to the Democrats on the ballot.

With all votes counted, here are the final numbers:

  • County Board — Jay Fisette (D): 66%; Audrey Clement (G): 31%
  • House of Delegates, 45th District — Rob Krupicka (D): 74%; Jeffrey Engle (I): 25%
  • House of Delegates, 47th District — Patrick Hope (D): 77%; Laura Delhomme (L): 22%
  • House of Delegates, 49th District — Alfonso Lopez (D): 78%; Terrence Modglin (IG): 21%

The races for Arlington School Board and the 48th House of Delegates District, featuring incumbents James Lander and Del. Bob Brink, were uncontested.

On the referendum question of whether Arlington should establish a redevelopment and housing authority, the “no” position — endorsed by both the local Republican and Democratic parties — is well ahead.

  • Housing Authority Referendum — Yes: 31%; No: 69%

Speeches at the Democratic victory party on Columbia PikeAt their election night party on Columbia Pike, Arlington Democrats were celebrating victories in local races and expressing enthusiasm about their role in the statewide races.

“It’s a great night in Arlington,” said Arlington County Democratic Committee Chairman Mike Lieberman. “Our goal in Arlington is to do our part to turn out every Democrat in a Democratic area, to try to run up the score to make sure we can offset some of the more conservative areas in the state. Based on the numbers we saw here today, we did that.”

“I think Arlingtonians reacted really well to McAuliffe’s centrist message, his good government message, his jobs message, and I think quite frankly Cuccinelli and his ticket didn’t offer much for Arlington,” Lieberman continued. “The strength of Democrats is a validation of the community we have here.”

Reelected Delegate Alfonso Lopez said night’s Democratic victories were a rejection of Tea Party politics.

“Tea Party hypocrisy and Tea Party policies are not the way to govern the Commonwealth,” he said.

Jay Fisette and supporters at a Democratic victory party on Columbia PikeCounty Board member Jay Fisette, who will take over the chairmanship of the Board in January 2014, called his reelection “gratifying” and thanked Democratic volunteers for their get-out-the-vote efforts.

“This is a great county and I really appreciate the support you’ve given me,” he said. Fisette also thanked his husband, Bob Rosen, though he had to correct himself when he initially called Rosen his “partner.” The two were wed in the District in September.

“I’m not used to saying that word [husband],” Fisette said.

As chairman, Fisette will likely preside over the hot-button vote on whether to allow urban hen-raising in Arlington. But he said he’s particularly focused on three major challenges facing the county: economic development and the high commercial office vacancy rate; affordable housing; and burgeoning school enrollments.

“I’m looking forward to the challenges… I’m really ready to hit the ground and continue working on them,” he said.

County Board candidate Audrey Clement and Green Party supporters at Westover Beer GardenPerennial Green Party candidate Audrey Clement, who ran against Fisette, predicted that the continued reelection of Democrats and the defeat of the Green Party-supported housing authority referendum will hurt the county.

Speaking from a small Green Party gathering at the Westover Beer Garden, Clement said she was disappointed that younger voters seemed unreceptive to the party’s arguments for a local housing authority.

“I got discouraged last week when I canvassed the Clarendon Metro,” she said. “Clarendon and Ballston, those are my target audiences because they pay exorbitant rent. They were disinterested, they were disgusted, and they’re the ones getting gouged.”

Clement said she thinks the controversy over the Columbia Pike streetcar project, which she opposes, will become a bigger issue with voters when the construction costs start hitting home.

“If the trolley was really the key issue with voters, then my margins would have been higher,” she said. “When that trolley bill comes due, the homeowners are going to get hit hard, and that could be the breaking point for us.”

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