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The Right Note: Campaign Season Kick-Off

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 ARLnow.com.

The Civic Federation’s annual debate reminds Arlington voters that there is an election just two months away.

While much of the focus is on who will win seats in Richmond including the Governor’s Mansion, Arlingtonians will be able to vote on local issues as well when they choose a new School Board and County Board member.

According to Inside Nova, Erik Gutshall, the Democrats’ nominee for County Board, was said to have positioned himself as a “fiscal conservative” in his campaign. Once you move past the “laugh out loud” nature of that notion, Arlingtonians must ask themselves what options they have in this November?

To his credit, Gutshall has put forward a comprehensive list of policy positions, but it is one that puts him right in line with the current majority on the County Board. While he certainly will have his own take on the issues, voters cannot anticipate a major shift from the status quo.

Perennial candidate and former Green Party endorsee Audrey Clement’s electoral fortunes have ebbed and flowed depending on who else is on the ballot. Her left-leaning views on most issues, however, are well known.

Newcomer, and currently Green Party endorsee, Charles McCullough is calling for the expansion of housing assistance, the creation of a program to begin school spending on infants and taking away the rights of property owners to build on their lots.

McCullough is not alone on the political left. New York City’s Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio recently commented that he would essentially like to overrule our nation’s protection of private property rights and give government the right to control how and where people can live.

Many in Arlington probably share this notion. But not all Arlingtonians are ready to endorse what de Blasio called the “socialistic impulse.”

Regrettably, Arlington Republicans (myself included) failed to find a candidate to run this year despite the County Board race being an open seat contest. So Arlington voters are left with a limited choice on a scale that ranges from status quo left to far left.

The “Vihstadt coalition” of Independents, Republicans and fiscally conservative Democrats could still produce a majority of votes in a non-presidential election year. Maybe it’s time for a spirited write-in campaign for County Board?

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