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Friday, September 30, 2022
ArlingtonOpinionEditorial: Our marching orders for Arlington political challengers

Editorial: Our marching orders for Arlington political challengers

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With Arlington’s semi-formal start to election season set to begin next week with the Arlington County Civic Federation’s annual candidate forum, we provide our annual advice for those taking on incumbents.

In this case, it’s directed specifically at independents Audrey Clement and Adam Theo, who are taking on incumbent Democrat Matt de Ferranti in his quest for a second term on the Arlington County Board.

As we say in all these types of situations, the challengers need to give the public – and, not coincidentally, the Sun Gazette political-endorsement squad – specific, valid reasons that the incumbent needs to be ousted.

The latest to fail at this seemingly basic task was Victoria Virasingh, who challenged U.S. Rep. Don Beyer in the June Democratic primary but seemingly spent the entire campaign never uttering a negative word about the incumbent. Why waste everyone’s time by running, then?

Clement and Theo have run before – the latter once, the former multiple times – and we think they’ve got it in them to discern and enunciate de Ferranti’s weaknesses.

Despite being a nice guy and competent local official, de Ferranti has multiple Achilles heels, and savvy opponents should be able to draw blood in debates referencing both him and the oligarchical, all-Democratic board.

If Clement and Theo come out of the gate strong, the media and the public will continue to pay attention. If they can’t score punches, then the race will be over the same evening it began.

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