Former County Board members cast endorsements as donations flow into Arlington campaigns

Election Day 2022 in Arlington (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 10:35 a.m.) Democratic candidates are racking up tens of thousands of dollars in donations, as well as numerous notable endorsements, as this year’s local races heat up.

Three Arlington County Board contenders are leading the pack in terms of donations for this election cycle, campaign finance reports show. Natalie Roy has raised about $41,000 so far, JD Spain has raised $37,000 and Tenley Peterson has raised $23,000.

Candidate Julie Farnam, for her part, has raised $12,000, while James DeVita‘s receipts indicate $30,000 in cash contributions, $29,000 of which is from himself.

Spain has secured several prominent endorsements, including State Sen. Barbara Favola, Del. Adele McClure, current County Board Vice-Chair Takis Karantonis and former County Board member and State Sen. Mary Whipple. He also has the support of the local United Food & Commercial Workers union, VoteVets and Moms Demand Action.

Roy’s endorsements, meanwhile, include former County Board members John Vihstadt, Walter Tejada and Chris Zimmerman, and former School Board member James Lander.

As for Peterson, a total of 22 current and former members of the Arlington Planning Commission and Arlington Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission are backing her campaign, as are 15 other current and former local officials, including former County Board members Jay Fisette and Katie Cristol.

Although an entry in Spain’s paperwork to the Virginia State Board of Elections seemed to indicate he was running for School Board, he confirmed to ARLnow that was a typo and he is currently only pursuing a seat on the County Board.

“There was a minor clerical error that has since been corrected, and we have already informed the Virginia Department of Elections,” Spain said.

Both Spain and Roy also ran for County Board last year.

As for the School Board race, Zuraya Tapia-Hadley stands out with $24,000 in donations. She has clinched the support of numerous local officials, including Favola, Del. Alfonso Lopez, Karantonis, County Board member Matt de Ferranti and Sheriff Jose Quiroz.

Also standing behind Tapia-Hadley are the organizations Juntos Por Virginia, the Latino Victory Fund and the Arlington Education Association PAC.

School Board contender Kathleen Clark, who has raised $14,000, has endorsements from Del. Patrick Hope, outgoing County Board Chair Libby Garvey, former School Board member Barbara Kanninen and de Ferranti.

Candidate Chen Ling, meanwhile, has pulled in $12,000.

Finance data on candidate Larry Fishtahler is not immediately available, but he has secured an endorsement from the Arlington Education Association.

Two School Board seats are up for grabs this year, along with one County Board seat. The Arlington Democratic primary will take place June 18, while the last day to vote in the Democratic School Board caucus is May 11.