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Thursday, March 30, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: And they’re off to the races!

Editor’s Notebook: And they’re off to the races!

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Last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting brought out the first (and maybe only) two contenders seeking the party’s nod for the School Board seat being vacated by Barbara Kanninen.

Brandon Clark, a teacher in the county school system, and Bethany Sutton, chair of the school system’s Advisory Council on Teaching and Learning, made their cases. Clark had to do it “virtually,” as he’d come down with a case of COVID and was quarantining at home.

Sutton brought a crowd and was introduced by County Board Chair Katie Cristol, so I guess we can assume she’s the insider in the race.

Was I impressed with the remarks of either? Well, kindly Uncle Scotty doesn’t impress easily, and since neither of the candidates reached out to say howdy-doo to this local-media potentate before their kickoffs (it’s Campaign Etiquette 101 to suck up to the media, people), I don’t feel the need to be particularly charitable. However, campaign-kickoff speeches are toughies, particularly for first-time candidates, so it’d be wrong to be too rough on them. All in all, they did fine.


Democrats seeking the party endorsement for School Board have until April 27 to file. For those seeking to run in the general election as a true independent, the deadline to file with the local elections office is mid-June.

SQUEEZING IN ON FAIRFAX DRIVE: I’m not going to mention the elected official in question, not even going to give you a hint as to gender – male, female or still noodling it through – but I will note my admiration for one Arlington leader’s parking skills.

Because I’d arrived early, I opted to park on Pershing Drive and take the 15-minute waddle up to George Mason University’s Arlington campus for yesterday afternoon’s ground-breaking ceremony for the big new building. And as I walked up to the campus, I noted said elected official attempting to get [gender redacted] vehicle into a (legal but tight) parking spot right in front of the building on Fairfax Drive.

An aside: At another such episode some months ago – a Democratic soirée at a home in North Arlington – I helpfully assisted Sen. Barbara Favola (who is not the topic of this incident) by waving her in as she squeezed into a tight spot on the street.

(An aside to that aside: A resident in the neighborhood then came out to yell at me for moving her trash container 6 inches to help get Favola in; I told the resident in my take-no-crap voice that it wasn’t her container but the county government’s container and it was on the street not in her yard That sent her scurrying back inside in hasty retreat. I’m a people person!)

But back to yesterday. I would have offered to help this elected official like I did Favola – chivalry is not dead – yet I had to get inside to get cracking on coverage. But when I left the event (a little early), I checked and the elected official had done a perfect parking job. Kudos!

– Scott McCaffrey

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