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Monday, October 18, 2021
ArlingtonCandidate: Debate format allowed for little enlightenment

Candidate: Debate format allowed for little enlightenment

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Due in large part to the number of races and candidates involved, the Sept. 14 Arlington County Civic Federation candidate forum proved the political equivalent of speed-dating, with candidates given limited time (often just 60 seconds) to answer questions.

To at least one of the contenders, the limitations imposed on candidates didn’t go over well.

Adam Theo, one of four contenders for County Board, sniffed in his closing remarks that he hoped future debates would allow “more time and a better format” for candidates to discuss issues.

“We need to get in the weeds,” said Theo, one three independents taking on incumbent Democrat Takis Karantonis. “A minute goes by fast, doesn’t it?”
(Indeed: Some candidates found it difficult to adjust to faster time frames than in most debates, with a few barely getting started on their answer before being cut off as the event rolled forward.)

The Civic Federation forum included candidates for School Board, County Board and the four House of Delegates seats that involve Arlington. The 90-minute time frame given over to candidates was the same as the amount provided the previous week by the Arlington Committee of 100, but that event focused just on County Board and School Board, providing candidates in those races more time.

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