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Thursday, March 23, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Shades of an election a decade ago

Editor’s Notebook: Shades of an election a decade ago

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Some years back (2011, for those keeping score at home), Barbara Favola was challenged in the Democratic primary for state Senate by Jaime Areizaga-Soto, who for his kickoff before the Arlington County Democratic Committee brought out a large and boisterous crowd of supporters. (Smart move, by the way.)

Viewing the scene, a Democrat who should have known better wondered if the large crowd meant Areizaga-Soto’s bid to upend Favola stood a chance.

“Nah,” I replied. “It’s a 60-40 race now and despite all the huffing and puffing in the political blogs, it’ll be a 60-40 race on Election Day.”

(I was close but actually under-sold Favola’s strength. Despite being pilloried by the likes of Blue Virginia – are they still around? – she won 65% to 35%.)


That’s kind of the same pronouncement I gave, at the start, to the now completed Arlington County Democratic Committee’s School Board caucus. It ended up a roughly 60%-40% race, with the expected winner, Mary Kadera, on the 60% end (actually, slightly higher by about a point). Pretty much as expected.

As our coverage of yesterday noted, that could either be considered a solid win for Kadera, or a slap at the current School Board and administration – lordy, 40 percent of the Democratic voting public went out of its way to support Miranda Turner, whose main focus was on the unfettered failure (“U.F.,” not to be confused with “F.U.” except by those with dyslexia) of the school system’s COVID performance.

It’d be as if, in the fall, Democrat Takis Karantonis got 60% of the vote to 40% for Audrey Clement. Yes, a win is a win is a win, but a mere 20-point margin would be an embarrassment for a Democrat and a moral victory (not that there are moral victories in politics) for Clement.

Anyway, the School Board caucus being over, we can now focus on the June 8 primaries, then go to sleep for a while.

TIME TO DIAL DOWN THE ARROGANCE? (NO, NOT MY ARROGANCE; IT IS A LARGE PART OF MY CHARM!) Remember the old saying that, when it came to Vietnam, once LBJ had lost Walter Cronkite, he lost the American people?

There may be a local version of that playing out.

Unprodded by me, someone who is usually even-keeled and even-tempered (and shall remain nameless) said this of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay:

“God, what a pompous prick he is!”

OK, anybody has reason to be a little cranky after having been forced to sit through any interminable local-government meeting. But this is a person who has seen a lot of McKay since he took over for Sharon Bulova, what, almost 18 months ago?

Not sure whether Bulova had an ego, let alone pomposity, but even if so, she surely managed to keep it under wraps when on the dais. McKay appears to lack such a filter – at times, he seems to be channeling his inner Gerry Connolly, another elected official who once chaired the Fairfax board and has since gone on to bigger things.

Alas for local officials such as McKay, those higher up the political food chain don’t seem to be going anywhere, so there is a lot of stagnation in the ranks of elected officials in Northern Virginia. Might have been different had Hillary Clinton won in 2016, thus freeing up the Senate seat of Tim Kaine to break the logjam downstream in politics, but it was not to be.

  • Scott McCaffrey
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