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Monday, December 5, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: A win is a win, but comes with slight caveat

Editor’s Notebook: A win is a win, but comes with slight caveat

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You can tell what a blanked-up national political situation we have that we just threw an election and literally neither party won. Sums things up nicely, as neither side really deserved to. Blech!

Meanwhile, closer to home, voters in four North Arlington precincts sent a message to county leaders: Hands off our single-family zoning. But the way the local world works these days, that message is not likely to count for much.

Audrey Clement picked up strong support in those precincts, although by the time the absentee ballots are added into the mix probably will not actually have won them, as Election Night results suggested she did. And in the grand scheme of things, doing well in four out of 54 precincts means little in Arlington’s at-large election process. (Clement managed less than 30% of the vote countywide, less than half that of Democratic incumbent Matt de Ferranti.)

In addition to de Ferranti personally, the night actually shaped up as a broader win for the all-Democratic County Board any way you slice it up:

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• Add together de Ferranti and Theo and you get 70 percent of the electorate casting ballots in favor of pro-Missing Middle candidates. That’s music to the ears of County Board members, who are hell-bent on ramrodding this through in yet another ready-fire-aim approach to Arlington governance.

• Add Theo and Clement together and you still only get about 40 percent of the electorate angered enough at the oligarchical Democrats to vote against them. So 2022 was not 2014, a year of political rebellion in Arlington comparable to Europe’s troubles of 1848, for those who like their historical analogies.

This is all fodder for plenty of discussion, and we’ll have follow-up articles and an editorial on the near horizon.

WANNA HAVE A SHOT? BRING OODLES OF CASH TO THE RACE: The easy victories of Democratic County Board member Matt de Ferranti and Democratic School Board aspirant Bethany Sutton proved once again that if you’re planning on running as an independent or Republican in the People’s Republic of A-town and aim to be competitive, you’d better bring oodles of cash to the campaign.

Sutton’s opponent, James Vell Rives IV, did decently in fund-raising, better in large part than the County Board challengers, but you still can’t run a race against a Democrat in Arlington and presume that if you outraise them, that should be enough. You have to outraise them by a factor of 5 or 10 to have the cash on hand to market yourself. Otherwise, the panzer division (and I say that with admiration) that is the Arlington County Democratic Committee will roll right over you.

As happened this time out in both the County Board and School Board races.

– Scott McCaffrey

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