Mike Cantwell is seeking an Arlington County Board seat.
Arlington’s elections office confirmed Wednesday morning that Cantwell indicated by email his intention to run but hadn’t yet filed paperwork.
Cantwell told ARLnow.com that he’s running as an independent.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he’s held positions with the federal government and currently works for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency as a branch chief. He has two graduate degrees, including one from the U.S. Naval War College.
Cantwell said he wants to “end one-party rule” in Arlington, focus on core services, curb rapid urbanization, support small businesses by lowering taxes, and better fund the county auditor’s office.
He will face the Democratic nominee, either County Board incumbent Takis Karantonis or challenger Chanda Choun, as well as independent Audrey Clement, a frequent candidate for local office.
Democrats will choose their nominee through a June 8 primary. Arlington Republicans have until June 13 to nominate a candidate for the general election.
Cantwell and his wife have three children, ages 21, 19 and 16.
Among his numerous activities within the community, he’s the president of the Yorktown Civic Association and former board member of the Lee Highway Alliance that’s sought to revitalize the corridor to benefit businesses and neighborhoods.
Cantwell has been active with the nonprofit Arlington County Civic Federation, but resigned from his position on the federation’s board last month to pursue a run for County Board. He is also the vice president of FairVote Virginia, an organization seeking election reform, particularly with ranked-choice voting.
The five-person County Board, whose members serve four-year terms, currently consists entirely of Democrats. The last time an independent candidate won a seat there was John Vihstadt in 2014.
Karantonis secured a partial term to the seat in a July 2020 special election, following the death of former Board member Erik Gutshall.
Cantwell and the other three candidates are set to appear together via Zoom for the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s annual County Board Candidate Forum this coming Tuesday, May 25.
Photo courtesy Mike Cantwell
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Arlington and its neighbors have become more segregated in the last 10 years while fair housing legislation at the state level faces significant roadblocks. Arlington’s fair housing enforcement, education, and commitment to equity practices in housing policy and programs are beginning to show signs of improvement but much more needs to be done.
Join the NAACP Arlington Branch, HOME of Virginia, and Equal Rights Center for the 2nd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference on April 15th to discuss the threats and opportunities to advancing fair housing policy across the state and within Arlington.
The half-day, in-person event will feature speakers from fair housing advocacy organizations and government agencies including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and focus on fair housing policy trends in Virginia and Arlington County. The conference aims to advance the understanding of issues and policies related to equity and affirmatively further fair housing among local officials, advocates, and members of the public.
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Is home ownership a goal of yours in 2023? Now is the time to make it happen! Grab a (virtual) drink with the area’s top Real Estate experts, learn all about the home buying process and on how you can get $1,500 towards your closing costs immediately!
Did you know the average Arlington renter will spend $150K in 5 years of renting? Stop paying down someone else’s mortgage! Join us for a Rent vs. Buy Happy Hour on Wednesday, April 5th at 6 p.m. via Zoom. If this time doesn’t work, we also are offering times convenient for your schedule!
A lot has happened in the local market since the beginning of the pandemic. Sip on your drink of choice and learn from Northern Virginia, Arlington and Washingtonian Magazines top producing agents! We will discuss the latest market updates, the home buying process and rent vs. buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking here.
Call/text Manavi at 703-869-6698 with any questions!
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