The pending arrival of a new year brings a changing of the guard in Arlington County Republican Committee leadership.
Party chair Andrew Loposser announced Dec. 7 that he would be stepping down from the post he has held for nearly three years, in order to concentrate on duties as the GOP’s 8th District chair.
“It’s been an honor to be chairman, [but] we need new leadership, new direction,” Loposser said at the GOP’s annual volunteer-appreciation dinner.
Loposser said he does plan to seek re-election as 8th District chair next year.
“It’s not like I’m going anywhere,” he said. “I’m not stepping away. I want to keep moving forward.”
The resignation was effective immediately, party communications chair Matthew Hurtt said. Vice chair Lori Urban to lead the party at least until the Arlington’s GOP’s biennial reorganization meeting next March.
Urban “has my full support,” Loposser said.
Loposser in 2016 was elected to head the Arlington-Falls Church Young Republicans. Three years later, he was elected as party chair to succeed Jim Presswood, who resigned in the middle of his second two-year term to concentrate on other issues.
The challenge for new GOP chair Urban will be the same one that has bedeviled Arlington Republicans for years – recruitment of quality candidates.
The local party did find contenders for all four local House of Delegates races on the Nov. 2 ballot. All were crushed by Democrats, as had been expected, but having the party represented on the ballot in those races almost certainly helped the GOP’s statewide ticket pick up votes it otherwise might not have received.
The bigger challenge for the Arlington Republicans is finding candidates for County Board, School Board and constitutional offices. Many years, the GOP has come up empty-handed, leaving the field to the dominant Democrats and a group of under-funded independents.
“It takes Republicans running everywhere to run up the vote totals,” Hurtt noted, praising those who “carried the torch” for the party despite the inevitability of defeat given Democrats’ control of local politics.
(On the plus side for the party: The vote percentage for the GOP statewide ticket, though less than a quarter of the total Arlington vote, was up more than 5 percent compared to the percentages garnered by Donald Trump in Arlington.)
Loposser’s departure means that both of Arlington’s main political parties are set to see a change at the top, as Democrats are in the process of selecting a successor to four-year chair Jill Caiazzo. A vote on Democratic leadership positions for the next two years is slated for early January.