JUST IN: Christian Dorsey says he will not seek reelection

Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington County Board vice-chair Christian Dorsey says he will not seek reelection next year.

He released the following statement to ARLnow this morning.

Now that the County Board has concluded its meetings for 2022, I am ready to turn my attention to 2023 and have decided that I will not seek re-election to the County Board.

It has been my distinct honor to have represented and served this community as a Board Member since 2016. Together, we have navigated tough times and advanced key priorities and initiatives that have made Arlington stronger, and I look forward to continuing that work in the year ahead while welcoming new leaders for 2024 and beyond.

Dorsey, the Board’s lone Black member, declined to answer additional questions about his decision “at this time.”

“We can wait a bit on the reflections,” he said. “Much work still to do.”

First elected in 2015 — along with Board Chair Katie Cristol, who is also not seeking reelection — Dorsey’s tenure on the Board was marred by a messy personal bankruptcy, tax filing and payment problems, and his resignation from the WMATA board following campaign finance ethics concerns.

His official county biography lists some of his accomplishments during his time on the Board.

During his tenure as Chair, Mr. Dorsey guided the Board’s adoption of: the Vision Zero transportation safety plan, the update to the Public Spaces Master Plan, the update to the Community Energy Plan, the renaming of Route 1 to Richmond Highway, the economic performance agreement and land use entitlements for Amazon’s headquarters in Arlington, principles of collaboration with the City of Alexandria on joint efforts to ensure inclusive growth with expected economic development, and an Equity Resolution that detailed the scope of work in Arlington’s mission to realize racial and social equity.

Christian is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), where he has represented Arlington since 2016. Previously, Mr. Dorsey served as Arlington’s Member on the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) in 2019 and 2021. Additionally, Christian served as a Principal Member of the Board of Directors for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, aka Metro, and as a Commissioner on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission from 2016-2020.

In 2022, Christian is serving as the County Board liaison to the Civilian Oversight Board, the Commission on the Status of Women, the Human Rights Commission, the Neighborhood Complete Streets Commission, the Sports Commission and Aquatics Committee, the Emergency Preparedness Advisory Commission, the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission, the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center, the Clarendon Alliance, the Arlington County Fair Board, and the Rosslyn BID. Christian is also Co-Chair of the County Board’s Audit Committee.

Outside of public service, Mr. Dorsey engages as a policy and communications consultant supporting progressive organizations in realizing their missions. Prior to joining the Board, Christian was a senior leader at the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that promotes economic policies that foster broadly shared prosperity.

Dorsey’s decision sets up a Democratic primary in June for two open Board seats. The primary will, for the first time in an Arlington County-run election, feature ranked choice voting.