Democratic Arlington County Board candidate Alan Howze, trying to unseat the first non-Democratic Board member since 1999, is using buttons with issue buzzwords on them to try to generate a new wave of enthusiasm for his campaign.
The buttons, instead of being splashed with the candidate’s name in big letters, instead feature issues Howze’s campaign believes are most important to Arlington voters, like “great schools,” “mobility” and “affordability.”
“We created these campaign buttons after listening to residents express what makes Arlington special and what issues matter most to them,” Howze said in a press release. “From great schools to thinking ahead to open space, the buttons capture essential elements of our community. The buttons are a great way to start a conversation about our vision for the future of Arlington.”
Howze is trailing behind Vihstadt — who won the April special election by a 57-41 percent margin after former Board member Chris Zimmerman resigned in February — in fundraising less than a month before Election Day on Nov. 4. This morning, Howze issued a separate press release announcing his goal of “zero pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths from vehicle accidents,” and a plan to accomplish that, including accelerating the Intersection of Doom improvements.
Howze’s plan calls for “complete safe routes to ALL Arlington schools,” expanding sidewalks and increasing police attention toward drivers making unsafe maneuvers for pedestrians and cyclists. He has also recently released campaign plans for improving the Columbia Pike streetcar and enhancing discussion on public land use.
This morning, the Sun Gazette endorsed Vihstadt, saying his months of service on the County Board have proven he’s willing to ask questions other Board members do not:
In another year, Howze might well be our choice, as we think he does want to tackle significant issues.
But the message his election would send to the Democratic oligarchy that has run Arlington — sometimes exceptionally well, but not always so – over past decades is that the public has gotten the anger out of its system, and it’s back to business as usual. That can’t be allowed to happen.
“It’s not divisive to ask questions, and question authority,” Vihstadt said at a recent candidate forum. “If I lose, the status quo prevails.”
He’s right, and while Alan Howze likely would be a fine County Board member — far better than he has been as a candidate – we think it’s the wrong time to turn back the clock. Vihstadt deserves a four-year term.
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