Their party has no candidates for County Board and School Board, and the rank-and-file of the Arlington County Republican Committee is split on whether the GOP should endorse any of the contenders on the ballot.
A recent online survey conducted of Republican Committee members by the committee found that a solid majority wanted to endorse one of the County Board contenders, but there was a split on exactly who:
• 34.8 percent said the party should endorse Audrey Clement.
• 16.7 percent said the committee should endorse Adam Theo.
• 31.8 percent supported endorsing a candidate, but did not state a preference.
• 16.7 percent said the committee should not endorse anyone.
(Democratic incumbent Matt de Ferranti was not offered as an option on the survey.)
Whether Clement or Theo would want the Republican endorsement is not known, but whether either gets it or not will become clear at the committee’s Sept. 27 meeting, when a formal vote is expected to be taken.
Last year, in a four-way County Board race that included Democrat Takis Karantonis and three independents (including Clement, Theo and Michael Cantwell), the survey of rank-and-file members supported an endorsement – with Clement leading the possibilities – but at a pre-election meeting, the Republican Committee opted not to endorse anyone.
In this year’s School Board race, which featured Democratic endorsee Bethany Sutton and independent James “Vell” Rives running to succeed Barbara Kanninen, Rives received about two-thirds of support in the Republican endorsement survey. The remaining third was for no endorsement; Sutton received 0.0 percent support.
In releasing the results, Republican Committee communications chairman Matthew Hurtt said the local GOP shouldn’t be forced into the position of supporting non-Republicans because it has no contenders.
“The Arlington GOP must run candidates up and down the ballot every election,” he said.
At the Sept. 27 meeting, Republicans also are slated to decide whether to support, oppose or stay neutral on each of the six local bond referendums on the Nov. 8 ballot. In the survey, a majority said the committee should not take a position on the community-infrastructure bond, but should field positions on the other five.
Of those five, respondents came out in opposition, albeit by significantly different margins: from 53 percent against the utilities bond to more than 86 percent against the schools bond.