While spending a little time in the Arlington elections office Tuesday night (enjoying some of the leftover buffet which as always was an added bonus of election night), the results started rolling in, and there were not a whole lot of surprises in races of interest to the local area:
• Governor’s race? This one was over before it began, despite all the noise it generated. The fact that Terry McAuliffe, a political chameleon who will be whatever he needs to be at any given time (and that is not a criticism), rolled up a big victory suggests that Virginia Democratic voters weren’t entranced by the increasingly whackadoodle-y leftish policies being espoused by virtually all those running against him.
• Attorney general? The fact that it was closer than some but not all expected was a reflection that incumbent Mark Herring has no strong base and isn’t the most beloved of contenders, but a win is a win. The fact he is a two-term incumbent makes him the odds-on favorite in November, but do not rule out Republican challenger Jason Miyares.
• A couple of quixotic challenges to Democratic incumbents (Alfonso Lopez of Arlington and Kathleen Murphy of McLean among them) fizzled out. The challengers in those races seemed to give up about half-way through.
• Del. Mark Levine’s surreal decision to run for two positions at once (lieutenant governor and re-election to his House of Delegates seat) ended in defeat both times. Elizabeth Bennett-Parker defeated Levine in the 45th District and will move on to the general election. (Score one for the Sun Gazette endorsement!)
• In some outside-our-coverage-area areas of Northern Virginia, voters ousted two incumbents (Ibraheem Samirah and Lee Carter) who frankly were so far left they had proved embarrassments to most of their Democratic colleagues. Like Levine, Carter thought it might be a good plan to run simultaneously for statewide office and his current seat, but also like Levine, ended up losing both. The lesson to other candidates? In the immortal words of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (in the embedded video below): Oh, you can think about it. But dooooooooon’t do it.
• In Arlington, the marginally comatose County Board race ended up where it always was going to, with incumbent Takis Karantonis winning is healthy, if not overpowering, victory against challenger Chanda Choun, who now has gone 0-for-3 in races for the Democratic nomination for the post and who needs to come up with some new outlet for his creative energies.
• Turning to the fall election, it looks like the Arlington County Board race will have a field of four (Karantonis and three independents) while the Arlington School Board race is set at two (Democrat Mary Kadera and independent Major Mike Webb – yep, he formally changed his name to include “Major” so I guess we have to use it).
• I had guessed (ask around) that Del. Hala Ayala would win the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, yet said prognostication was just a shot in the dark. But heck, it turned out to be the correct shot in the dark.
Anyway, can we all now go to sleep, politically-speaking, for a month or so? Everyone needs a breather.
ALWAYS A GREAT CLIP: An aside to the reference above: The fact That Jackie Gleason failed to get an Oscar, or at least a nomination, for his role as Sheriff Buford T. Justice (below) is one of the great Hollywood injustices of all time. Times may change but his performance just never, ever gets old.
- Scott McCaffrey