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Thursday, March 23, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: How are the dominoes going to fall?

Editor’s Notebook: How are the dominoes going to fall?

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First of all, thank you to all three Arlington County Board candidates for taking time away from what no doubt was busy campaigning over the weekend to answer the Sun Gazette’s queries about how they think the upcoming election will shake out.

Incumbent Matt de Ferranti and challengers Audrey Clement and Adam Theo each responded in a timely manner (huzzah!), and I will give bonus points to Clement for actually constructing, per my request, how she thinks the election results will turn out.

I won’t step on my own coverage (coming up in a few days) but will say that Clement sees a route to victory if things go her way, although she is realistic that such a result is not likely to happen.

For Theo’s part, he opined if Clement were to win office with more votes than de Ferranti but less than a majority, then the ousted incumbent will have no one but himself to blame, particularly because de Ferranti and other County Board members have dawdled on implementing ranked-choice voting for the County Board.


There is a ring of truth to that. Let’s say for funsies that Clement wins 46 percent of the vote, de Ferranti wins 44 percent and Theo wins 10 percent. (Just for funsies, I said … don’t take this as my official guesstimate.)

With winner-take-all voting that Arlington has now, Clement wins. But had the Democrats instituted ranked-choice voting, one could conclude that a majority of Theo’s voters would have gone to de Ferranti, since they are on the same side of the Missing Middle argument. And if de Ferranti got even a modest majority of the Theo voters, he’d win on the second and last round of instant-runoff/ranked-choice.

Anyhoo, this is going to be the most interesting County Board race in eons for those who like to crunch the numbers and pontificate on what it all means. And given that election season is all but dormant throughout the rest of Northern Virginia, might as well go whole-hog on the Arlington races.

SPEAKING OF THE ELECTION: Yours truly checked in with some notables of the Arlington political scene for their views on how the race would turn out. Some didn’t get back to me, but I did hear from the likes of Jay Fisette, Frank O’Leary, Wayne Kubicki and John Vihstadt, each of whom gave their takes on what they expected.

CLICK HERE for coverage.

ANOTHER ONE OF THE GREATS TO RETIRE: Doreen Gentzler, who has occupied an anchor chair at WRC-TV for 30-plus years, last week announced that she’d be stepping down.

A class act both on the TV and in those rare times I had interactions with her, which often came when she was doing fund-raisers for Arlington’s Culpepper Garden retirement home, where her mother had been in residence for many years.

Gentzler and Jim Vance vied with the duo of Gordon Peterson/Maureen Bunyan on WUSA-TV for most powerful anchor duo during most of my formative years back in the day. And with Gentzler departing, all four are gone (although only Vance has gone to that great anchor desk in the sky; the other three are still rockin’).

– Scott McCaffrey

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