The 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.
Democrats took advantage of the anti-Washington and anti-Republican environment in Arlington to dramatically boost turnout and defeat an otherwise popular independent incumbent John Vihstadt. If you are Christian Dorsey or Katie Cristol, you may regret the outcome in 2019 if Vihstadt opts to run again.
While voter turnout trends are on the uptick, it is unlikely there will be the same surge of voter enthusiasm when there is no top of the ticket race driving votes in an odd numbered year. It would prove to be a huge advantage to Vihstadt who has a deep and loyal base of support across every political persuasion. While it would be easy to understand if Vihstadt decides not to spend another year campaigning, he might enter the race as a favorite to take one of the two seats.
Now comes news that Cristol is making it a priority to defeat nearby Delegate Tim Hugo in 2019. While Hugo is a target for Democrats as the only inside the Beltway Republican in the General Assembly, Cristol’s beef is primarily over the taxation of Arlington’s golf courses. This is the type of thing that would invite even more money into an Arlington County Board race to help Vihstadt return the favor against Cristol.
Maybe our current Board Chair thinks Democrats cannot lose in this current environment or maybe she hasn’t thought that far ahead. Seems like an interesting play by someone up for re-election with an obvious threat still looming on the horizon.
Speaking of the 2019 elections, there are 14 different offices up for election next year including the two County Board seats, one School Board seat, commissioner of the revenue, commonwealth’s attorney, treasurer, sheriff and every Virginia Senate and House seat that includes Arlington precincts. I, for one, hope that a combination of Republicans and independents challenge each and every one of these officeholders. In a county with one party rule, it is good for the public discourse for Arlingtonians to hear a substantive debate about the direction our county and state should move in the future.
Finally, a thumbs up to the County Board finally approved the Virginia Hospital Center expansion project. This is good news for the county, even more so now as we prepare to absorb thousands more residents as a result of the Amazon announcement.