The forum is being organized by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. It will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Hyatt in Rosslyn (1325 Wilson Blvd). ARLnow.com, a Chamber member, is the event’s media sponsor.
During the forum, incumbent Libby Garvey and challenger Erik Gutshall will be asked a variety of questions, with a special focus on local business.
“This business-themed candidate forum will feature a moderated discussion of topics important to the Arlington business community, and will provide each candidate with the opportunity to engage with local business leaders and address the key issues for the business community,” the Chamber said. “This event will also offer attendees the chance to gain an inside look into the candidates’ views on business in Arlington County.”
(Perennial independent candidate Audrey Clement, who has qualified for the ballot again this year, has also been invited to participate.)
In a debate earlier this month, Gutshall lamented that Arlington County’s economic development efforts are “geared towards the types of businesses that are going to fill office buildings,” more so than helping small businesses. Garvey said the county is “aware that small businesses are having issues” and is holding a small business summit next week.
Meanwhile, the county’s high office vacancy rate — some 8 million square feet of office space is vacant in Arlington — remains a significant issue.
This candidate forum is open to the general public. Registration is $10. Light refreshments will be provided.
The Arlington County Democratic Committee is planning its own candidate debate from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4. The debate will be held at GMU’s Founders Hall (3351 Fairfax Drive).
Mike Webb, who’s running for the Republican congressional nomination in Virginia’s Eighth District, which includes Arlington, says a “targeted cyber attack” prevented him from filing his quarterly campaign finance report.
The Federal Election Commission sent Webb’s campaign a notice on April 22, stating that it had failed to file its April quarterly report.
“Failure to timely file this report may result in civil money penalties, an audit or other legal enforcement action,” the letter says. “The civil money penalty calculation for late reports does not include a grace period and begins on the day following the due date for the report.”
As of today, there was still no quarterly report for January through March 2016 on the FEC page for Webb’s campaign committee. A previously-filed financial report includes a note from Webb apologizing for it being late.
Webb’s campaign, meanwhile, said in a press release that it had not filed the April report due to technical difficulties it attributed to computer hackers. Here’s what the campaign said in the lengthy April 21 press release, one of more than 100 it has sent to local reporters since December.
… this morning, sources close to the campaign of Arlington resident Mike Webb, the putative front-runner in the Republican Party nomination race in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District disclosed that they have been the victim of what appears to have been a targeted cyber-attack.
Shortly before the filing deadline for the quarterly disclosure reports to the Federal Election Commission, the Webb campaign indicated that it began to experience glitches with the filing software, making it difficult to input information. However, on the deadline filing date, the software would just crash whenever the data file was loaded, thereby blocking access to all previously entered data. The Webb campaign indicated that it made several attempts to re-install the program, and to install the program on a separate computer, but the attempts to address and remedy the situation appeared to confirm that there was nothing wrong with the software, but rather that the data file had somehow been corrupted.
“The Webb team had no further comment this morning regarding the incident, but did indicate that they were continuing to work with the FEC on submitting the report and recovering the lost data,” the campaign itself said in a press release, before continuing on for two additional paragraphs.
Webb is running against environmental consultant Charles Hernick for the Republican nomination. A district convention will be held on May 7 to select a nominee. The winner will face long odds against incumbent Democratic Rep. Don Beyer in the fall.
While Webb has participated in Republican-sponsored events leading up to the convention, his campaign has adopted an outsider’s stance, often speaking out against the local GOP establishment. In a press release today, in fact, Webb said he has notified local police and the FBI about a persistent Twitter critic who goes by the monicker “GOP Establishment.”
Accusing the anonymous Twitter user of “extortion,” Webb claims that he gave law enforcement the name of “every potential suspect from the long list of establishment officials and Young Republicans.”
Webb, an Arlington resident, has been idiosyncratic in other aspects of his campaign, particularly on social media. On April 20 he posted an image wishing his supporters a “Happy 4/20.” On January 11 he accused ARLnow of “censorship” for our moderation of the comments section of a Dec. 23 article about his candidacy.
Courtney Hill, the former campaign manager of Arlington School Board candidate Tannia Talento, is planning legal fight after she said Talento didn’t pay her what was owed in her contract.
Hill is a community activist who serves on Arlington’s Commission on the Status of Women and on the steering committee of the Arlington County Democratic Committee. A single mother of two, Hill says she’s being evicted from her home after Talento refused to pay her. She is suing Talento, who refutes the allegations.
“At the onset of my campaign, Ms. Hill was employed as my campaign manager,” Talento told ARLnow.com, in a statement. “Shortly after we began our work together, I realized we had different expectations for the direction of the campaign. Her employment was eventually terminated and unfortunately we had a contractual disagreement which will be settled judiciously in our court system.”
The two parties are scheduled for a hearing in Arlington General District Court on April 11. The eviction proceedings against Hill were filed Feb. 16. It’s the second case against Hill filed by an Arlington landlord in three years, according to court records.
“Because of this unfortunate breach of contract and disheartening chain of events, I am now facing an eviction and will have to uproot my daughter who’s in middle school,” Hill wrote. “The past few years have been very difficult for my family, and I cannot imagine having to upend/end all of the things I’ve worked so hard for. This is not right and should not be supported by anyone who purports they are advocates for women, children, families and minorities.”
Hill said she worked as Talento’s campaign manager from Dec. 1 to Jan. 31. She said Talento “attempted to bully” her into changing the terms of her contract, but she refused due to provisions that would have prevented her from working on other campaigns and would have imposed a confidentiality agreement. Talento then refused to pay her full contract, according to Hill.
“Working on campaigns is what I do and how I pay my bills,” she said. “How dare she threaten and try to dismantle my livelihood?”
Hill, who is black, also accused Talento of an “unwillingness to meet with black leaders,” saying she was “constantly questioning the black community’s concerns/issues in regards to equal and quality education.” She further accused Talento of “having [a] very poor work ethic” and not doing “much of the leg work required to run an effective campaign.”
“I am running for the Arlington School Board, because I firmly believe in advocating for quality education and the success of every student in Arlington Public Schools,” countered Talento, who is the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants. “It is important that we ensure equitable education for every child regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion or gender. My vision will ensure a continued focus on the Whole Child and will make strides in closing the achievement gap. Therefore it is unfortunate that Ms. Hill is undertaking this present course of action.”
Talento has picked up the endorsement of a number of current and former elected officials, including Del. Alfonso Lopez, former County Board member Mary Hynes and retiring School Board Chair Emma Violand Sanchez.
“Tannia has demonstrated integrity and passion for advocating all students in Arlington,” Sanchez said in a statement today. “I firmly believe she is one of the most ethical leaders that I know, and she will be an exceptional School Board Member. I am disappointed that these false allegations are being spread to discredit a highly qualified School Board candidate.”
Arlington Democrats will have four School Board candidates to choose from at an endorsement caucus in May.
The “unassembled caucus” — also referred to as a “firehouse primary,” with an instant run-off voting process used to determine the winners — will be held over two days:
- Thursday, May 19 from 7-9 p.m. at Drew Model School (3500 23rd Street S.)
- Saturday, May 21 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street)
There are two School Board seats in contention, one of which is up for grabs with the retirement of School Board member Emma Violand-Sanchez. The candidates vying for the Democratic endorsement are:
Prior to the caucus, a candidate debate will be held at the Arlington County Democratic Committee monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6 at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street).
Overall turnout was up — 42 percent this year to 40 percent in 2008. Fifteen percent of registered Arlington voters cast a ballot in the GOP race, while 27 percent voted in the Democratic race. That compares to 7 percent GOP and 33 percent Democratic turnout in 2008.
Tonight’s unofficial Arlington results on the Democratic race were:
- Hillary Clinton: 66.85% (25,561 votes)
- Bernie Sanders: 32.80% (12,541 votes)
- Martin O’Malley: 0.35% (134 votes)
The Republican results:
- Marco Rubio: 49.67% (10,944 votes)
- John Kasich: 22.56% (4,971 votes)
- Donald Trump: 16.78% (3,698 votes)
- Ted Cruz: 7.87% (1,734 votes)
- Ben Carson: 1.73% (381 votes)
Statewide, Clinton carried the state 64.3 percent to 35.2 percent for Sanders. On the Republican side, Trump won in Virginia with 34.8 percent of the vote to 31.9 percent for Rubio and 16.9 percent for Cruz. Across all Super Tuesday states, Clinton and Trump claimed enough victories to retain their frontrunner status in the presidential race.
On a night when Arlington ran out of preprinted GOP ballots due to unexpectedly high Republican turnout, there was speculation that many Democrats crossed over — Virginia has an open primary — to vote for a “non-Trump” candidate.
— Craig Merritt (@OldCT) March 2, 2016
Half a dozen folks at my NoVa polling place today around 1pm…ALL asked for R ballots. Unusual for the area. https://t.co/10uuYs5hy6
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) March 1, 2016
Most informed strategic electorate in the country is in NoVA https://t.co/Snba0WE9JM
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) March 1, 2016
Enthusiasm among local Republicans also appeared to have driven the high turnout.
— Arl-Falls Church YRs (@AFCYRs) March 2, 2016
After the jump, the Arlington County Democratic Committee statement, from party chair Kip Malinosky, on the primary result.
County elections officials had to begin photocopying the ballots in order to keep up with voter demand, Arlington Registrar Linda Lindberg confirmed to ARLnow.com. Ballot photocopies are legal, carry the Arlington seal and are authorized by the election board, but cannot be machine scanned and must be counted by hand, Lindberg said.
“No precinct has been out of ballots at any point in time,” she noted, dispelling rumors to the contrary.
In the absence of paper ballots, Lindberg said polling places also have the option of allowing voters to use an electronic ballot marking device, intended for those with disabilities. Ballots cast with the device are machine scannable, but there’s only one device per polling place.
As of 6:30 p.m., elections officials reported that total turnout had reached 38 percent of registered voters, with 24 percent voting in the Democratic primary and 14 percent voting Republican. That’s double the final GOP turnout in Arlington in 2008.
Polls close in Virginia at 7 p.m., but major Metro delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines tonight may keep some late voters from casting ballots.
As of 2 p.m. today, with five hours to go until polls close, the percentage of Arlington voters casting ballots in the Republican presidential primary has already exceeded the total from the 2008 GOP primary.
Mid-day Super Tuesday turnout was 24 percent of registered voters in Arlington — 9 percent Republican, 15 percent Democrat.
In 2008, when Barack Obama and John McCain cruised to victory in Virginia, 7 percent of registered Arlington voters cast Republican ballots while 33 percent voted in the Democratic primary.
“For the Republican primary in particular, it’s been a heavier than expected turnout,” said Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg. Democratic turnout, she predicted, is likely to be down slightly from 2008.
Absentee voting is up across all parties, but especially so for Republicans. This year, 2,570 Democratic and 952 Republican ballots were cast, compared to 2,166 Democratic and 440 Republican ballots in 2008.
Lindberg said polling places along the Orange Line corridor and in South Arlington, all Democratic strongholds, have seen surprisingly heavy Republican turnout, while turnout is in line with expectations in some of the more Republican-leaning precincts in far northern Arlington. That raises the possibility of crossover voting; Virginia is one of 18 states with an open presidential primary.
One factor for the increased Republican turnout may be the presence of Donald Trump in the race. Supporters of the businessman and GOP frontrunner have been particularly prolific in placing signs around polling places in Arlington — so much so that Lindberg said the county elections office has received at least one complaint about the Woodmont polling station having too many Trump signs.
(While county ordinance limits political signs in roadside medians to no more than two per candidate per median, there’s no limit at polling places on the day before or day of an election.)
One Trump supporter got an earful this morning while placing signs around Arlington. Reuters reported that former Republican congressional candidate Gwendolyn Beck was putting Trump signs up in front of the Arlington Arts Center, in Virginia Square, when local attorney and cycling advocate Mark Blacknell walked by en route to a nearby polling place.
“I came here to tell you you’re a terrible person,” Blacknell told Beck, according to Reuters.
“Signs normally don’t bother me, but there’s a whiff of burning crosses to Trump’s,” Blacknell later explained.
“Respect for other opinion is fabric [sic] of the USA,” Beck said in response, via Twitter.
No significant problems have been reported at the polls, Lindberg said, though a slight discrepancy between Arlington’s voting instructions and those on the state-provided ballots are prompting some questions.
The instructions in the polling places say that voters may place an “X” in the bubble to mark their vote for a candidate. Virginia’s ballots have older instructions, telling voters to completely fill in the bubble. Either works just fine, said Lindberg.
“It’s just confused a few voters, that’s all,” she said.
After the jump: tweets from those commenting on the Trump signs around Arlington, as well as a tweet from this afternoon’s John Kasich rally at George Mason University in Virginia Square.
The university is warning of potential traffic and parking issues around its Arlington campus.
“This event is open to students, faculty and staff, as well as the broader community,” GMU said in a press release. “Though we expect no changes to operations at Hazel Hall and the Arlington Campus, there are likely to be parking and traffic impacts associated with the event.”
“We expect additional traffic on campus on Tuesday as Founders Hall is a designated polling place for Arlington County for the Virginia Primary Election,” the university added.
Photo via John Kasich/Flickr
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were the big winners in yesterday’s New Hampshire primary.
How will “outsider” candidates Trump and Sanders fare in Arlington, when the Virginia presidential primary takes place on Super Tuesday, March 1? Let’s find out.
The following polls reflect the Virginia presidential ballot as approved in December. If you’re planning to vote, let us know who you’re planning to vote for on March 1.
Democratic County Board candidate Erik Gutshall would like to see further progress on the planning process for the future of the Lee Highway corridor.
Gutshall, a small business owner who serves on the Arlington Planning Commission, warned in a statement (below) that Lee Highway could experience “crazy-quilt development” if not for “a thoughtful, community-led planning process.” He called on the County Board to prioritize long-range planning for Lee Highway this year.
Gutshall is challenging County Board Chair Libby Garvey in the June 14 Democratic primary.
Erik Gutshall called today for the Arlington County Board to make development of a long-range plan for Lee Highway a priority for the County Manager for the coming year.
Gutshall, who is challenging the incumbent Board Chair in the Democratic Primary, congratulated the Lee Highway Alliance, a collaborative effort of all neighborhood civic associations abutting Lee Highway from Arlington’s North Highlands community along the Potomac River to the Falls Church line, noting, “…the Lee Highway community has shown uncommon leadership in developing a vision for the future of Lee Highway.”
Gutshall called on the County Board to appoint a citizen-led task force quickly to undertake the development of a Lee Highway Plan, provide the task force with significant staff support and outside expert resources, and develop a scope of work that allows the task force to think big about the Lee Highway of the future. “Lee Highway,” Gutshall said, “is the last major unplanned commercial corridor in Arlington. Similar plans for the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor have been a central reason for that area’s great success.”
Gutshall, as a task force member, was engaged in the development of today’s plan for Clarendon. “Without a plan,” he said, “we can expect crazy-quilt development along Lee Highway; changes that aren’t the result of a thoughtful, community-led planning process are much less likely to meet Arlingtonians’ needs and are likely to detract from, rather than add value to, surrounding neighborhoods.”
Gutshall noted that long-range plans are extraordinarily valuable to the community and have underpinned much of Arlington’s standout prosperity. These plans are a concrete expression of the community’s hopes for the future and provide property owners with the policy guidance needed to encourage thoughtful, responsible and responsive development. “Unfortunately,” Gutshall said, “County Board leadership looks at the County’s long-term plans as merely advisory, something that can be easily dismissed. In my view, these plans are a compact between our elected representatives, developers and the community and embody the collective vision for the neighborhoods where we live, work, learn, and play.”
A mock Donald Trump vs. Bernie Sanders “comedy debate” will take place at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) next week.
“Trump vs. Bernie: The Debate Tour 2016” is scheduled Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, Feb. 18-20. Tickets are $20.
The show stars comedians Anthony Atamanuik as Trump and James Adomian as Sanders.
“It’s Republican Billionaire vs. Democratic Socialist fighting over the issues before the 2016 presidential election,” trumpets the Drafthouse website. Arlington is the second to last stop for the “unsanctioned debate” on a multi-city tour.
Arlington resident Charles Hernick kicked off his candidacy at last week’s Arlington County Republican Committee meeting.
While Hernick supports limited government, free markets, gun rights and a strong military — to “strengthen diplomatic efforts and keep our country safe” — he doesn’t sound much like his party’s presidential candidates, who often speak against regulation and the EPA, when describing his career.
“I’ve worked at the crossroads of economic development and environment for my entire career,” Hernick says on his website. “I understand the complexities and cost of government regulation, but I also understand the benefit that well-designed policies and programs — supportive of free markets — can bring.”
“I’ve worked with the private sector and state governments across the United States to keep our waters drinkable and swimmable while the economy grows,” Hernick continues. “I’ve worked with Muslim business owners in Africa whose livelihoods are under threat from religious extremists. I’ve seen the effects of intolerance, poverty, violence, and terrorism. I know that it takes a willingness to listen and take decisive action to keep peace.”
On the issue of immigration, Hernick writes: “Our approach to immigration should be balanced; we need to prevent illegal entry, while keeping the door open to migrants who believe in the American Dream.”
Hernick, who has yet to send a press release — at least to ARLnow.com — is a contrast compared to his GOP rival, Mike Webb, who is also seeking the party’s nomination for Virginia’s Eighth Congressional District. Webb has emailed 37 lengthy press releases to media outlets since Dec. 22.
The Republican nominee will be chosen at a party convention on May 7. The nominee is expected to face Beyer, who would be seeking his second term, in the fall.
Tannia Talento announced her candidacy at last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting.
A first-generation immigrant from Guatemala, Talento and her husband, Gary, currently have two children in Washington-Lee High School.
From a fundraising page:
Tannia knows firsthand how important education is to ensuring children have the brightest future possible. That is why she is extremely involved in Arlington’s public schools. Tannia has served on the Math Citizens Advisory Committee, the ESOL/HILT Citizens Advisory Committee, the Superintendent’s Master Planning Working Group, and on the Advisory Council on Instruction as a Vice Chair. Some of her most recent work includes the Facilities Study Committee and serving on the Career Center Parent Advisory Committee. Now she is running for School Board to make sure all of Arlington’s students have a fair shot at a world class education.
From a press release:
Local school activist and community leader Tannia Talento announced her candidacy to become and Arlington School Board Member tonight at the Arlington Democratic Committee Meeting.
Talento, a first-generation American, spoke before a large crowd of local Democratic activists tonight announcing her campaign to replace Emma Violand Sanchez, who is retiring at the end of 2016, on the School Board.
In her remarks, Talento explained her personal story, having had to help care for her family during high school, and make sure that her siblings were cared for when their mother became seriously ill. Talento had to drop out of high school to care for her family, later earning her high school diploma through an alternative program, and working her way up to become a legal secretary at one of the world’s largest corporate law firms.
Talento spoke about her drive to achieve educational success in the face of adversity and her desire to see every student reach graduation day without experiencing the adversity she faced.
“I believe that we can ensure that every one of our students will make it to graduation day educated to the highest standards and prepared for their future so that no student in Arlington has to live a version of my story,” Talento said.
Talento has lived in Arlington with her family for 12 years and has spent the last 5 years working her way through the school committees and commissions. From her time on those committees, she believes that Arlington Public Schools has the opportunity and the necessity to better advocate for children of all walks of life.
“As a School Board Member, I will advocate for every child to ensure that their needs are met and that they are prepared for life beyond high school,” Talento said.
Retiring School Board Member Dr. Emma Violand Sanchez introduced Tannia Talento before her remarks and highlighted Talento’s service to APS and its students.
“Her work in our schools has been towards the advancement of students of all walks of life, and ensuring that every one of our children has a shot at success in our schools and beyond,” Dr. Violand Sanchez said. “I believe Tannia’s vision is what we need in Arlington… I am proud to support her candidacy.”
Talento is running for the Democratic Endorsement, which will be determined through a “firehouse primary,” or open caucus. The caucus will be held on two dates, Thursday May 19th from 7pm to 9pm at Drew Model School and Saturday May 21st from 11am to 7pm at Washington-Lee High School.
Photo via Facebook
Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey will face a primary challenge on her left this year.
Erik Gutshall, a small business owner and Arlington Planning Commission member, announced on New Year’s Day that he will be running against Garvey in the June Democratic primary. Garvey is nearing the end of her first four-year term on the Board.
Gutshall, who lives in Lyon Park and previously served as that community’s civic association president, said he intends to run a positive campaign against Garvey, who drew the ire of the local Democratic establishment after successfully campaigning against the Columbia Pike streetcar project and endorsing independent County Board member John Vihstadt in his two races against Democrat Alan Howze.
“Our county best meets the challenges we face when we are united behind our shared progressive values,” Gutshall said in a statement.
Gutshall is a home improvement contractor and owns Clarendon Home Services LLC. The full press release announcing Gutshall’s candidacy, after the jump.
Photo via Facebook
Mike Webb announced his candidacy with a with a press release yesterday.
Webb says he’s a conservative Republican and a military veteran. A New Jersey native, Webb wants to bring “responsiveness and accountability” to Virginia’s Eighth District. He’s trying to assemble a diverse group of supporters to propel him to an unlikely victory.
“If we succeed in winning this race as a conservative Republican in the most liberal district in the nation and the most Democratic in the South, that will be a real revolution that will have national implications,” he said in a press release.
Webb’s Facebook page describes everything from his military background to his favorite movies.
“I own over 3000 DVDs and videocassettes, but still find myself at a movie theater looking for the latest film,” he writes. “I don’t think I have a favorite, but, I really like Good Fellas, and my favorite movie moment is Barbara Streisand singing ‘My Man,’ at the end of Funny Girl.”
After the jump: two of the first press releases sent by Webb.
Photo via Facebook