(Updated at 8:10 p.m.) Erik Gutshall, who was hospitalized with a brain tumor earlier this year, has resigned from the Arlington County Board.
Gutshall made the announcement Monday evening in a Facebook post. He has been absent from Board meetings for the past couple of months, and on March 1 revealed it was due to a brain tumor.
“As a result of this health issue, it saddens me deeply to announce my resignation from the Arlington County Board,” Gutshall wrote today.
The full post is below.
Thank you for all the support that you’ve given me over the past month as I undergo treatment for brain cancer. My family and I really appreciate all the kind words and encouragement while I’ve been dealing with this sudden, difficult diagnosis. As a result of this health issue, it saddens me deeply to announce my resignation from the Arlington County Board.
I decided to run for elected office because I believe in the power of community voices to make a difference in our County. Serving Arlington for the past 2+ years as a Board Member and many years before that as a Planning Commissioner has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I’ve had the honor of working side-by-side with many Arlingtonians who always inspired me to work harder and to do more. I will miss working with my County Board colleagues, whom I hold in the highest regard. Even though this is a particularly difficult time for our County and country, I know that I’m leaving this position in very capable hands.
For now, I’m looking forward to quarantining at home with my wife Renee and our children.
I thank you all for putting your trust in me. It has truly been an honor to serve you.
With highest regards,
Gutshall was elected to the County Board in 2017, after Chairing the Planning Commission, a county press release noted.
“The Board will consult with the County Attorney about the next steps, as required under Virginia law, for holding a special election to replace Gutshall on the County Board,” said the press release.
Local officials and community members have offered words of encouragement and sympathy for Gutshall since his initial announcement and after tonight’s word that he is resigning.
“We are deeply, deeply saddened by Erik’s resignation from the County Board this afternoon for health reasons,” County Board Chair Libby Garvey said, in a statement Monday night. “As they have been for the past weeks, our hearts continue to be with Erik and his family. Erik’s statement reflects who he is, identifying his belief in the power of our community and focusing on the critically difficult time we are in as a County and as a country. We have missed Erik’s presence with us at this critical moment in Arlington’s history, and we will continue to miss him. We ask that you join us in continuing to support Erik and his family during this difficult time and send messages of love and appreciation for his work and friendship.”
I am deeply saddened over Erik Gutshall’s resignation from the Arlington County Board. He is a beloved and trusted leader, someone everyone calls a friend. Now it is our turn to be there for Erik and his family.
— Barbara Favola (@BarbaraFavola) April 6, 2020
I am very sad to hear that @erik4arlington has resigned from the Arlington County Board due to his health concerns. I wish him and his family the best as they go through this extremely challenging time.
— Don Beyer (@DonBeyerVA) April 6, 2020
Erik is a true public servant, through and through. https://t.co/0I2ZDlG1oB
— Parisa Dehghani-Tafti (@parisa4justice) April 6, 2020
We’re praying for Erik’s health and for his family and loved ones. https://t.co/JNF17qwwYY
— Arlington GOP (@goparlington) April 6, 2020
The County Board is accepting well wishes from the community and will pass along email to Gutshall and his family.