“Thanks, but no thanks” was the message from the Arlington County Republican Committee to the two School Board candidates on the Nov. 2 ballot.
In one of the less surprising moments of the 2021 campaign season, Republicans on Oct. 7 voted – unanimously – to endorse neither Democratic-backed Mary Kadera nor independent Major Mike Webb in the race to succeed Democrat Monique O’Grady.
While spending more substantial time discussing positions on the County Board race and local bond referendums, the GOP – meeting online – made short shrift of the School Board race.
“We could have a long conversation. I suggest we have a short conversation,” former Arlington Republican chair Scott McGeary said. “It just makes sense to pass.”
The party’s communications director, Matthew Hurtt, said he had left the School Board race blank when filling out his ballot earlier in election season.
“An undervote . . . is registering your dissatisfaction with either the candidates that have filed, or the process,” he said.
It’s been almost 20 years since Republicans have backed a successful candidate for School Board (David Foster, who won in 1999 and 2003). Party chair Andrew Loposser said that given the dissatisfaction with school governance at the local and national levels, Republicans need to up their game and find viable contenders.
“I hope in the next couple of years . . . we have some credible candidates,” he said. “That’s just not the case at the moment.
As for Kadera and Webb, neither is likely to be singing the blues over not being on the GOP sample ballot, as neither actively sought the party’s endorsement.