The Arlington County Republican Committee later this month is likely to consider whether to endorse any candidates for local office, and whether to support any of the six bond referendums, totaling a half-billion dollars, on the local ballot this year.
A Sept. 6 e-mail to the party’s rank-and-file asked individuals to complete a survey that will help to guide the conversation leading up to the GOP’s Sept. 27 meeting.
Republicans did not field candidates for County Board or School Board this year, but presumably could endorse one of the non-Democrats running in the races. Last year, after spirited discussion, the party decided not to support anyone for either position.
In that 2021 race, where three independents made what amounted to kamikaze runs in an effort to unseat Democratic County Board incumbent Takis Karantonis, a survey of the Republican rank-and-file resulted in 40.2 percent saying the party should not endorse a candidate or they weren’t sure. Of the rest, 29.9 percent said the GOP should back Michael Cantwell, 23.9 percent said the party should back Adam Theo and 6 percent said the party’s support should go to Audrey Clement. Theo and Clement are challenging Democratic incumbent Matt de Ferranti this year, but how interested they’d be in the GOP endorsement is an open question.
In 2021, the Republican Committee voted to take no position on the four local bond referendums then on the ballot, although the sentiment in an online poll at the meeting seemed to edge toward rejecting them all.
Party leaders, however, thought it better to avoid being critical of the bond package (which passed by healthy margins) and instead focus on trying to convince Arlington voters to support the statewide ticket headed by Glenn Youngkin.