Karantonis, an economist and the former director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, captured 62.4% of the vote. He overperformed among absentee ballots, with 71% of the more than 10,000 absentee ballots cast amid the pandemic.
Susan Cunningham, who described herself as a “progressive Independent,” received 32.6% of the vote. A civically-involved professional and mother of two, Cunningham was endorsed in the race by John Vihstadt, the last non-Democrat to win a seat on the County Board.
Republican Bob Cambridge, a former CIA instructor, received 4.8% of the vote.
In all, 19,866 votes were cast — a turnout of 12.6% of the Arlington electorate. That’s below the 22,264 votes tallied in the 2014 special election, in which Vihstadt first won his seat on the Board.
Besides taking place during a pandemic, today’s election was also hampered by a relatively short campaigning period, and an election day just after the Fourth of July. Karantonis won the Democratic nomination in a closed caucus of about 250 local Democratic party insiders, as the party decried not having enough time to organize a broader primary or caucus.
Karantonis’ initial term on the Board will run through Dec. 31, 2021.
In a press release issued by the Arlington County Democratic Committee, Karantonis pledges “true progressive policies and effective leadership.”
“Arlington voters responded overwhelmingly to Takis’ positive, issues-oriented campaign, surmounting the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus to elect an experienced leader to the County Board,” Arlington Democrats Chair Jill Caiazzo said. “Takis will be a leader for all Arlingtonians. He has the expertise and empathy to build on the impressive legacy of Erik Gutshall. We know he’ll serve Arlington well.”
During the campaign, Karantonis touted his status as an immigrant as a reason he’ll be particularly effective during these fraught times for the country. He has been a resident of Arlington for 14 years, currently living with his wife in the Arlington Village neighborhood.
“As an immigrant and a first-time candidate, I did not expect to receive the overwhelming amount of support from Arlingtonians throughout every zip code in our county,” Karantonis said shortly after the election was called. “Our victory is meaningful for two specific reasons: it is the recognition of my many years of civic engagement in Arlington and it serves as a testament to Arlington voters’ expectation of true progressive policies and effective leadership.”
Karantonis previously served as executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, and now directs micro-lending for the Ethiopian Community Development Council, an Arlington-based nonprofit. He serves as vice chair of the Alliance for Housing Solutions, and previously was president of the Columbia Heights Civic Association and board chair of Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (now known as EcoAction Arlington). A native of Greece, Karantonis lived and worked in several European countries before immigrating to the United States. He speaks eight languages.
Cunningham, in a statement, thanked her opponents “for a spirited and hard-fought race” and wished Karantonis well on the County Board.
“Tonight I want to thank each and every voter in Arlington,” Cunningham said. “And I also want to thank my daughters and my husband, along with an incredible army of volunteers, who pulled out all the stops during a pandemic. This was always an uphill battle — not just against my opponents but also against an entrenched one-party system in Arlington… I truly hope we started some important conversations about the perils of one-party rule and the need for greater accountability.”
“I hope all of our elected officials will get serious about transparency, accountability, and improved School-County collaboration,” Cunningham concluded. “I have been deeply honored to meet and talk with so many Arlington residents. I look forward to many more discussions in the future.”
More on the turnout from the county elections office:
100% of precincts have reported.
~135 outstanding provisional ballots. 126 because voters issued Mail Ballot.
Turnout = 12.6%: 9,648 from Precincts, 10,294 Early + Mail. 52% of votes cast before Election Day. #ArlingtonHistory #VAIsForVoters
Until the next one #Countdown2020
— Arlington Elections (@ArlingtonVotes) July 8, 2020
Arlington has a long history of Special Elections for County Board. Here's a snapshot of turnout. It's still pretty quiet at our precincts with 1 hour left to vote. What's your prediction for total turnout today? #ElectionData #Elections pic.twitter.com/q2GeimOoQq
— Arlington Elections (@ArlingtonVotes) July 7, 2020
Special Election Voting Today — Voting is underway in the three-way special election to fill the late Erik Gutshall’s County Board seat. Polls are open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. The candidates are Takis Karantonis, Susan Cunningham and Bob Cambridge. “Don’t forget your photo ID, ballpoint pen, and face mask,” Arlington’s election office said this morning in a tweet. [Twitter]
No Incentive Payments for Amazon This Year — “Amazon.com Inc. won’t receive any direct cash payments from Arlington County, this year at least, for its HQ2 office leases… because Amazon’s incentive payments are tied to Arlington’s tourism industry. And many rooms remain empty to this day.” [Washington Business Journal]
APS Working to Offer Free Internet Service — “In May, the Arlington County Board allocated $500,000 of funding for a joint County/School Internet Essentials Grant Program to provide broadband internet access to APS students in need. The grant, allocated as part of the federal [CARES] Act, will provide free, high-speed internet access to low-income families who qualify for Internet Essentials from Comcast. Arlington is the first community in Virginia to partner with Comcast to offer free broadband services to students and their families.” [Arlington Public Schools]
Flying Squirrel Rescued from Chimney — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “This little flying squirrel had been stuck in a local resident’s chimney since Saturday, but thankfully, Sgt Ballena was able to remove him and release him safely nearby!” [Twitter]
Synetic Organizing Joint Fundraiser — “Synetic Theater has partnered with the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) to raise $20,000 during the month of July to be split evenly between the organizations. This partnership was initiated by Synetic Theater to help fulfil the company’s desire to invest in their local community while they are unable to host live performances at their Crystal City/National Landing theater space.” [Press Release]
Interview With New Poet Laureate — “When Hollynd Karapetkova learned that she had been selected as Arlington County’s poet laureate, she saw it as a wonderful piece of good news and positive recognition at a time when everything in the world seemed so chaotic. ‘I’m really grateful that Arlington has gone ahead with this program in spite of all the chaos that’s unfolding,’ she said.” [Patch]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Special Election Voting Starts Today — “Arlington election officials have announced plans for two Saturday dates for in-person absentee voting in advance of the July 7 County Board special election. Saturday voting will be available on June 20 and July 4, augmenting the usual Monday-to-Friday early voting that will begin May 22.” [InsideNova]
Big Food Donation to Green Valley Church — “3,300 lasagna and vegetable meals donated by chef Jose Andres’ @WCKitchen were given to those in need at Our Lady, Queen of Peace Church in Arlington [on] May 21.” [@ZoeyMaraistACH/Twitter]
Flags In at Ceremony Despite Pandemic — “The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment has continued their tradition of placing American flags at every grave marker at Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day.” [NBC 4]
Arlingtonian Aims to Run Every Street — “Before the pandemic hit, I hadn’t taken a big vacation in years. Since I’m at a dramatically reduced salary from not working full-time and, like so many Arlingtonians, dealing with underlying stress and anxiety while still feeling incredibly thankful, I’ve decided to use this time to discover my own city by walking or running every street.” [Arlington Magazine]
Local Wages Were Rising at the End of 2019 — “The average weekly wage for those working in Arlington (wherever they may live) stood at $1,963 in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to data reported May 20 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s an increase of 4.7 percent from the same period a year before, well above the national growth rate of 3.5 percent (to $1,185).” [InsideNova]
Local Artist Creates Virus Sculptures — “The sculptures seem to be inspired by the latest breaking news headlines. A figure in a stark white face mask. A giant virus cell mutating into a tentacled sea creature that morphs back into a virus… The centerpiece was a spiky model of “a virus, with seven figures running away,” said [Hadrian] Mendoza, 46, a ceramic artist, sculptor and full-time art director at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington since 2017.” [Arlington Catholic Herald]
Rain and Storms Today — “Waves of showers or storms are a good bet as the slow-moving upper level low pressure system finally decides to wander by. Round one will end in the morning to midday, but skies remain mostly cloudy. If we do see enough sunshine and heating, it’s not impossible some severe storms will develop nearby.” [Capital Weather Gang]
Arlington Democrats say they’re planning to conduct the upcoming School Board endorsement caucus via the mail, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“This extraordinary procedural change supports Virginia’s stay-at-home order and recommended social distancing measures necessitated by the global coronavirus pandemic,” the local party said, in a press release.
Starting today, Arlington Democrats can request a ballot online. The ballot request deadline if May 7, and the deadline for submitting the ballots is May 30.
There are five candidates — Steven Krieger, Cristina Diaz-Torres, David Priddy, Sandy Munnell, and Terron Sims — seeking the Democratic endorsement in the race for the School Board seats being vacated by incumbents Tannia Talento and Nancy Van Doren. A sixth candidate, Symone Walker, is no longer seeking the Democratic endorsement and is instead running as an independent.
The full press release about the vote-by-mail change is below.
After consulting with the five candidates seeking the endorsement of the Arlington County Democratic Committee to fill two open seats on the Arlington School Board, Arlington Dems today launched a process to conduct its endorsement caucus by mail. This extraordinary procedural change supports Virginia’s stay-at-home order and recommended social distancing measures necessitated by the global coronavirus pandemic.
“We had lengthy internal discussions about how to run our endorsement caucus responsibly during the coronavirus pandemic,” Arlington Dems Chair Jill Caiazzo said. “We determined that, given our available resources, the only safe and reliable option for a large-scale caucus is to conduct the vote by mail.”
The caucus will take place in four phases:
- Voter Validation and Ballot Request. Effective today (April 7) at 9 a.m. EDT, Arlington Dems will launch a secure online ballot request form via the Arlington Democrats website at www.arlingtondemocrats.org/school-board-caucus. To begin the process to receive a ballot, prospective voters will provide standard identifying information that will allow Arlington Dems to validate that they are Arlington County registered voters. Although online submission of the form is strongly preferred, a PDF version will be available for downloading and mailing to Arlington Dems. All ballot requests must be received (not postmarked) by May 7.
- Ballot Mailing. Registered voters whose requests are received by the May 7 deadline will receive their ballots by U.S. Postal Service mail. Ballots will be mailed on a rolling basis. Arlington Dems will include stamped, self-addressed envelopes with ballots, which voters are strongly encouraged to use to return their ballots. They will be returned to a post office box exclusively devoted to receiving School Board Caucus ballots.
- Voting. The deadline for receipt (not postmark) of completed ballots by Arlington Dems is May 30. Voters are strongly encouraged to immediately complete and return their ballots to ensure they are received by the deadline. Candidate representatives will be able to watch ballots being retrieved from the post office box and secured through live video-conferencing or in person, the latter provided they observe recommended social distancing measures. No ballots will be counted until all are collected after the May 30 deadline.
- Counting and results. Arlington Dems will begin counting the ballots the morning of May 31, or as soon as possible after that date. Observing recommended social distancing measures, Caucus leadership will open envelopes and validate the authenticity of enclosed ballots. Candidates or their representatives may observe the process via live video conferencing. Arlington Dems will use a process to anonymize ballots during the ballot counting, which will be conducted using a virtual procedure.
About This Post — Due to lots of coronavirus-related news, we have a number of non-disease-related local links that we haven’t been able to get to over the past two weeks. We’re running a one-time Weekend Morning Notes post to clear our queue. This will replace the usual weekend discussion post.
Arlington Cherry Blossom Walk — “Cherry blossom season in the D.C. area is a wonderful time of year, and taking in the blossoms is a beloved tradition. WalkArlington has created a walk featuring a few of our favorite locations in Arlington where you can appreciate the blooms and enjoy all that springtime in Arlington has to offer.” [WalkArlington]
Median Signs Promote Census — “What is good for the goose apparently is not good for the gander – if, that is, the gander is the Arlington County government. Those driving the roadways of Arlington in recent weeks no doubt have seen a flurry of median signage calling attention to, and promoting participation in, the federal census.” [InsideNova]
Local Cat Makes Headlines –“An adorable cat with a jaw deformity can’t help but always stick her tongue out – and her owner has insisted she wouldn’t have her pet any other way. Pretty Kitty, five, from Arlington, Virginia, can only open her mouth a ‘small amount’, and has her tongue always sticking out thanks to the way her jaw formed.” [Daily Mail]
Instant Runoff Voting for Arlington? — “Voters in future Arlington County Board elections could find themselves using the ‘instant-runoff’ method rather than the current ‘winner-takes-it-all’ manner. Both houses of the General Assembly have approved and sent to Gov. Northam a measure allowing Arlington to conduct its County Board races using instant-runoff voting, also known as ‘ranked-choice’ voting.” [InsideNova]
Arlington-Based Textile Brand Profiled — “From a plant-filled studio in Arlington, Diana Johnson translates ideas in her head to paper by lettering, illustrating and painting. Using her background in graphic design, Johnson is able to transform her artwork digitally into handcrafted products like pillows, clutches, greeting cards and, most often, prints to add a little color to any space.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Green Valley Looks Forward — “Low-level sales of marijuana and other substances in the Green Valley community in the 1960s grew into a full-fledged, open-air ‘drug supermarket’ by the early 1980s, with the intersection of 24th Road South and Shirlington Road ground zero for the illegal operations. On March 7, leaders of the community looked back at those days, and committed themselves to ensuring a better future for their community.” [InsideNova]
Chamber Acquires ‘Awesome Women’ –“Awesome Women (AWE), the professional networking group founded in Arlington in 2014 that now has six chapters throughout the DC area, announced today that it will become a program of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce later this year. The Arlington Chamber will offer women-only networking events beginning in the fall, and will call the new program the Arlington Chamber Chapter of AWE.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Victim of Pentagon Stabbing Identified — “The man who was fatally stabbed Monday morning on the platform of the Pentagon Metro station has been identified as a 25-year-old from Northwest Washington, a spokesman for the transit agency said. Sean Ronaldo Golden, who lived near the District’s Brightwood Park neighborhood, died shortly after arriving at George Washington University Hospital, a report provided by Metro says.” [Washington Post]
And now here it is, your moment of zen…
Joe Biden had a commanding lead in nearly every Arlington precinct in yesterday’s Super Tuesday race, but Arlington’s second-choice was not as universal.
Across Arlington, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg all found small enclaves of support.
Amid record presidential primary turnout in Arlington, a plurality of voters countywide cast ballots for Joe Biden. Biden garnered 48% of the vote, to 20% for Warren, 19% for Sanders and 10% for Bloomberg — who suspended his campaign today and endorsed Biden.
While Biden tended to score higher in the lower-density residential neighborhoods of Arlington, the former Vice President’s support was not quite as strong along Metro corridors and Columbia Pike, according to figures from the Virginia Department of Elections.
Along Arlington’s two Metro corridors, Biden won every precinct but rarely with more than 50% of the vote. Countywide, Biden only dipped below 40% in two precincts — one along the Pike and one near Rosslyn.
Along the Metro corridors it was predominately Warren holding the second place, though along Columbia Pike Sanders held leads in some precincts. In Ballston, Biden won 47% of the vote while Sanders and Warren won 23% and 21% respectively. In Crystal City it was 46% with Warren at 22%.
In the wealthier, northernmost precincts of Arlington, Bloomberg won his sole second-place finishes in Arlington in the Rock Spring, Madison, and Thrifton precincts. In each of those, however, Bloomberg never won more than 17% of the vote.
In only one place did Biden lose: the Campbell precinct, encompassing an area on Arlington’s western end of Columbia Pike. Sanders won 40% (310 votes) and Biden followed with 37% (282 votes). In 2016, Sanders lost the precinct to Clinton, who got 69% of the vote there.
The biggest anomaly of the night was the absentee voting results. A number of candidates who had since dropped out of the race received significant absentee vote totals in advance of Super Tuesday, notably Amy Klobuchar (9%) and Pete Buttigieg (16%). Klobuchar and Buttigieg — who held a large rally in Arlington last month — both dropped out and endorsed Biden after his South Carolina primary win over the weekend.
Among active candidates, Warren came out on top of the absentee heap with 25%, followed by Biden with 19%, Sanders with 16%, and Bloomberg with 14%.
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Biden Wins Virginia — “Virginia voters have overwhelmingly given former Vice President Joe Biden a sizable win over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Tuesday’s primary election. According to unofficial state election returns, Biden has been called the winner of the state with 53.3 percent of what was a record primary turnout, and will capture the largest share of its 99 delegates.” [Patch, Washington Post]
Bernie Underperforms 2016 — In the two-way race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016, Sanders captured 33% of the vote in Arlington. Yesterday, he received 19% of the vote, a close third to Elizabeth Warren at 20%.
FAA Taking Comments on DCA Noise — “After changing the routes for planes taking off from Reagan National Airport, in Arlington, Virginia, the Federal Aviation Administration is holding a public comment period. The comment period closes March 30. In an email, Libby Garvey, chair of the Arlington County Board, said that even if people in the community submitted earlier complaints, the FAA will not be officially considering them.” [WTOP]
Tafti Defends Changes at Prosecutor’s Office — “There’s this false critique that these reforms are making our communities less safe. We’ve been fed a story for decades that we have to incarcerate and have zero tolerance in order to be safe. More and more we are finding that harm reduction — for drug use, mental illness treatment, restorative justice — is more effective.” [Arlington Magazine]
Police: Two Arrested in Stolen Vehicle — “At approximately 2:40 p.m. on March 1, officers [in Pentagon City] were alerted to a license plate reader hit on a vehicle previously reported stolen out of Washington D.C. Officers observed two subjects walking away from the parked vehicle and conducted surveillance in the area. The subjects were taken into custody without incident as they returned to the vehicle… A search of the vehicle located suspected narcotics.” [Arlington County]
Chamber Cheers Tourism Tax Bill — “The Arlington Chamber of Commerce celebrates the General Assembly’s establishment of permanent funding for tourism promotion in Arlington. This 0.25 percent Transient Occupancy Tax surcharge on hotel rooms is used exclusively by Arlington Convention and Visitors Service… to grow travel and tourism in Arlington. Previously, the tax surcharge was enacted with a July 1, 2021 sunset” provision. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Bill Could Boost N. Va. Metro Funding — “Northern Virginia localities could soon have the ability to spend more money on Metro service increases after state lawmakers approved a bill that tinkers with the dedicated funding agreement for the transit agency… Virginia’s total financial contribution to Metro can’t increase by more than 3% each year, a condition designed to impose fiscal discipline on the agency. The bill from Del. Vivian Watts, D-Annandale would exempt any costs associated with service increases from that cap.” [Washington Business Journal]
Update at 10:3o p.m. — With all the votes counted, at least unofficially, the 2020 Democratic presidential primary in Arlington was “one for the record books.” Arlington’s election office reported a turnout of 45% of registered voters, compared to 27% in 2016. A total of 70,451 people voted, compared to the previous primary record of 44,694 in 2008.
One for the Record Books…
UNOFFICIAL ELECTION NUMBERS
Absentee Turnout: 5,734
Election Day Turnout: 64,717
Total Turnout: 70,451
Active Voters: 156,433
Outstanding Provisionals: 202
— Arlington Elections (@ArlingtonVotes) March 4, 2020
A plurality of voters in Arlington County cast ballots for Joe Biden. The results are as follows:
- Biden: 48.3%
- Warren: 20.0%
- Sanders: 18.8%
- Bloomberg: 9.5%
Earlier: Voting has been relatively smooth sailing in Arlington today, despite very high turnout for a single-party primary.
As of 1 p.m., about 27% of registered voters had cast ballots in today’s Democratic presidential primary, 24% at the polls and 2.5% absentee, according to Arlington election officials. That’s about the same as the overall Democratic primary turnout in 2016, which featured Hillary Clinton squaring off against Sen. Bernie Sanders.
As of 4 p.m. about 31% of registered voters had cast ballots and Arlington was on track for “historic Democratic presidential primary turnout,” according to the county’s elections office.
4pm turnout estimate is around 31%. Looks like historic Democratic Presidential Primary turnout in Arlington. This is our last report until results start coming in at 7pm. Stay tuned…..
— Arlington Elections (@ArlingtonVotes) March 3, 2020
(There is no Republican primary today, as President Trump is uncontested for the GOP nomination in Virginia.)
“Things have been running very smoothly,” said Gretchen Reinemeyer, Arlington County’s Director of Elections, adding that “we’ve had anecdotal evidence of many first-time voters.”
The only issue at the polls Reinemeyer was aware of was a brief power outage at Taylor Elementary School.
Virginia is one of 14 Super Tuesday states, voting in a hotly-contested Democratic presidential primary that currently features Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Like Arlington, Alexandria is also set to exceed its 2016 Democratic presidential primary turnout. As of noon, turnout in the City of Alexandria was just over 23% compared to 15% by that time in 2016.
Polls across Virginia close at 7 p.m. Anyone in line at that time, however, will be allowed to cast ballots.
Expect lengthening lines at precincts as voters head home from work, particularly in transit corridors, Reinemeyer said.
“That last hour between 6 and 7 will definitely be a busy hour for our Metro corridor precincts,” she cautioned. “We’re also monitoring the weather” for potential approaching storms.
Still, Reinemeyer said, “there’s still lots of time for voting left.”
It’s Primary Day — Today is Super Tuesday, the presidential primary day in Virginia and 13 other states across the U.S. In Arlington, polls are open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Arlington public schools are closed to students today. [Arlington County, Twitter]
Beyer, Lopez Endorse Biden — Following his decisive victory in the South Carolina primary, former Vice President Joe Biden has picked up endorsements locally from Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Del. Alfonso Lopez (D). Lopez and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe were stuck in an elevator in Richmond for a half hour yesterday while heading to a Biden event. [Press Release, Twitter]
County OKs Five Scooter Companies — “The lone applicant seeking to provide electric-bicycle service in Arlington has been rejected by county officials, but five operators of electric-scooter devices did make the grade, County Manager Mark Schwartz told County Board members on Feb. 25. The five e-scooter firms – Bird, Jump, Lime, Razor and Skip – were among eight that had sought permission to operate in the county. The other three were rejected for various reasons, including having no speedometers on their devices.” [InsideNova]
Cristol Encourages Volunteering for Erik — “As you may have seen in the news, our colleague and friend, Erik, is facing a tough health challenge… here’s what we can do for him: Go to a civic association or commission meeting. Volunteer. Embody Erik’s example & make this place better by showing up. And take a picture, and tag it #HereForErik so we can share.” [Twitter]
I-66 Tolling Deemed a Success — “About 700 more people each day total are commuting along the Interstate 66 corridor inside the Capital Beltway now compared to before tolls for solo drivers and an expanded rush-hour period began, and there are also fewer car trips each morning… Virginia state officials have said the goal of the tolls has been to move more people in the corridor, and see the higher count of commuters as a sign the system is working.” [WTOP]
Coworking Space Coming to Courthouse — “Flexible workspace provider Venture X is making its first foray into the Washington, D.C., market, after reaching a deal to take the top floor of the Navy League Building in Arlington, Virginia.” [CoStar]
Cupid the Cat Now Up for Adoption — “Two weeks after undergoing emergency surgery to remove an arrow from his head, Cupid is ready to find a new home. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s veterinary director cleared Cupid on Monday, March 2, for adoption.” [Patch]
ACFD Assists With McLean Fire — Updated at 8:25 a.m. — Arlington County firefighters helped Fairfax County’s fire department battle a massive house fire in McLean last night. [Twitter]
Labor Rule Violations Alleged at Temporary HQ2 Projects — “A union is charging that employers at six construction projects that will house Amazon employees or operations in Northern Virginia have evaded federal and state taxes by misclassifying workers, failing to carry workers’ compensation coverage and avoiding overtime pay.” [Washington Post]
Beyer Voting Yes on Impeachment — “The facts allow for no other interpretation: President Trump violated his oath of office to faithfully execute the laws. In order to cover up his offenses, he engaged in unprecedented obstruction of Congress’s oversight power and role as an equal branch of government.” [Press Release]
Voting Precinct Changes Planned — “Voters in two Arlington precincts will see their polling locations changed in 2020. Those in Overlee Knolls (Precinct 017) will move from the Reed School at 1644 North McKinley Road… Those in Rosslyn (Precinct 019) will move from 1911 Fort Myer Drive to the new H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program building.” [InsideNova]
How Arlington’s Streets Got Renamed — “If you harbor gripes that our county government gets too ambitious, consider an episode from the 1930s. In what probably ranks as the most disruptive Arlington project ever, our entire street grid was renamed.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Road Closures for Wreaths Across America — “The annual Wreaths Across America escort of handmade, balsam wreaths destined for Arlington National Cemetery will begin arriving in Arlington County on Friday… On Saturday, December 14th, several thousand volunteers will descend upon the Cemetery and help lay wreaths on every gravesite throughout the property beginning at 8 AM. The public can anticipate large crowds and heavy pedestrian traffic related to the event.” [Arlington County, YouTube]
Holiday Arts and Crafts Show in Crystal City This Weekend — “GRUMP is back for its 9th year, returning to The Shops at Crystal City at 2100 Crystal Drive. GRUMP Crystal City is where you can shop local from 50 exciting artists and makers and stop for a photo op with one of our many Yetis.” [Event Calendar]
Nearby: Police Warn of Abduction Attempt — “City of Falls Church Police are seeking a suspect in an attempted abduction… The suspect is wanted for questioning after he approached a juvenile outside of a grocery store and told the juvenile to leave with him. The suspect left when the juvenile’s mother returned.” [City of Falls Church]
(Updated at 10:20 p.m.) There were no surprises in Tuesday’s general election in Arlington, as Parisa Dehghani-Tafti was elected Arlington’s new prosecutor and all Democratic incumbents won new terms.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney race saw an elevated level of write-in votes — 10% of the overall vote — but the result was never in doubt as Tafti received 90% of the vote. She will take office as the top prosecutor for Arlington and Falls Church starting in January.
Tafti ran a progressive campaign centered on criminal justice reform during a contentious and expensive primary. She ran unopposed in the general election after beating incumbent prosecutor Theo Stamos in a surprising upset in the primary, with 52% of the vote to Stamos’ 48%.
“It was really surreal,” Tafti told ARLnow of her win, after the final precinct results came in.
The incoming prosecutor added that she was “lucky” she had time between the June primary and the November election to start work on her transition. Tafti she’s looking forward to rolling out reforms come January — which one expert has said is the most aggressive policy transition for the office in living memory.
“I’m really excited to get a restorative justice program started,” she told ARLnow.
Elsewhere on the ballot, Arlington County Board incumbents Katie Cristol (D) and Christian Dorsey (D) defeated independent candidates Audrey Clement and Arron O’Dell with 40% and 38% of the vote, respectively. Clement’s 13% and O’Dell’s 7% compares to the 10% Clement and 19% Republican Mike McMenamin received in 2015, when Cristol and Dorsey were first elected.
In contested General Assembly races in Arlington, state Sen. Janet Howell, who ran unopposed in the primary, won out over Republican candidate Arthur Purves, 73% to 27%. Del. Alfonso Lopez defeated independent challenger Terry Modglin, 83% to 16%.
Other Democratic candidates won bids for re-election tonight after running uncontested races:
- Del. Patrick Hope
- Del. Mark Levine
- Del. Rip Sullivan
- State Sen. Barbara Favola
- Sheriff Beth Arthur
- Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy
- Treasurer Carla de la Pava
- School Board member Reid Goldstein
Acknowledging that most of its candidates were not facing strong challengers, the Arlington Democratic party has instead focused on supporting other Virginia progressives they hoped could flip the GOP-controlled state House and Senate. As of 10 p.m., the Associated Press projected that Democrats would, in fact, win control of both.
Virginia Democrats win majorities in both the state House and Senate, giving them control of the legislature and the governorship for the first time in 26 years. Follow our full U.S. election coverage. https://t.co/z2PXWC7DHk
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) November 6, 2019