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The Right Note: Vote Mike and Only Mike

Mark KellyThe Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Earlier this year, Arlington Republicans endorsed independent Mike McMenamin for County Board. Later, Mike also received the endorsement of independent County Board Member John Vihstadt.

A coalition of Republicans, independents, Greens and dissatisfied Democrats came together last year to elect Vihstadt twice. The results have been positive for Arlington. Adding one more independent voice to the Board this year would still leave Democrats in the majority while ensuring the makeup of the Board is more closely in line with the political makeup of the county as a whole.

In other words, Arlington would be well-served to join John Vihstadt and say, “I like Mike.”

A small business owner, McMenamin has the longest civic resume in the race. During his two decades in Arlington, McMenamin has served as President of the Maywood Civic Association, on the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee, and as President of the Arlington Civic Federation. Along with the fact this is his third run for the County Board, Mike has arguably spent more time talking about and listening to issues of neighborhood concerns than all three of his opponents combined.

Mike’s campaign is focused on issues that he has heard over and over again from talking to people across Arlington. His platform is based on making smart financial choices on key public safety and infrastructure needs, on addressing the needs of our schools and on much needed economic development.

Beyond being the best choice in the race, I submit that if Republicans and Independents want to make sure Mike gains a seat on the Board, he should be your ONLY choice.

This year, two seats are open on the County Board. The way to maximize the impact of your vote for Mike McMenamin is not to vote for anyone else when you fill out your ballot.

Based on political leanings of the electorate in a normal election cycle, it is almost a statistical certainty that one of the two Democrats will win a seat Nov. 3. If McMenamin supporters cast their second vote for one of the two Democrats, they will increase the chances that Democrats will win both seats and decrease Mike’s chances of winning one.

Many Arlingtonians who go to the polls to vote for Mike will feel obligated to pick a second candidate on their ballot as part of their civic duty. If you feel obliged to do so, and Audrey Clement is not your second choice of the candidates running, then please use the write-in option. It will only take a few extra seconds to write the name of the Republican or independent who you always thought would make a good candidate for the Board.

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