Local Commentary

Our Man in Arlington

bartonmugArlington’s Democratic Primary election will be next Tuesday. Therefore, it is time for the much-anticipated “Barton’s Picks” for the Democratic nominations for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and the 47th House of Delegates seat – the only contested primary elections on the Arlington ballot.

But first, I must say how fortunate I am that Arlington’s David Foster was defeated for the Attorney General nomination in Saturday’s Republican convention. This isn’t because I did not favor his nomination (I did) but because if he had won, I would have had to strongly consider casting my first Republican vote since I voted for John Warner more than six years ago when the Democrats failed to mount a candidate. This is a woeful thought for a yellow dog Democrat. Dave Foster would have made an excellent Attorney General.

Now – drum role – here are “Barton’s Picks” for the contested slots on the Arlington ballot:

  • Brian Moran for Governor. This has turned out to be the most hotly contested race in the state, with the somewhat late entry of national Democratic leader Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe has run a very spirited and well-financed campaign, and is an excellent campaigner. However, in my experience, Brian’s deep involvement in critical state issues over the years gives him the edge. He has been a leader in the House of Delegates, and made great efforts to get to know, and work with, the key political leaders all over the state. To be fair, Creigh Deeds also has that experience, but I still think the edge goes to Brian Moran.
  • Jody Wagner for Lieutenant Governor. This, too, is a difficult choice since Arlington’s own Mark Signer is also an excellent candidate. However, here also the edge goes to Jody Wagner. She has broad statewide experience having served as the state treasurer under Mark Warner and Secretary of Finance under Tim Kaine. And her campaign platform is very strong in economic, educational, transportation and fiscal issues. (Also on the ballot will be Jon I Bowerbenk, who withdrew from the race after the ballots had been set.)
  • Andres Tobar for House of Delegates, 47th District. Here again, all of the five candidates would be perfectly respectable members of the House of Delegates. My nod, however, goes to Andres Tobar. I have worked with Tobar on several projects in the past. He is a remarkably dedicated public servant, strongly committed to county services for the disadvantaged. He is currently the Executive Director of the Shirlington Employment and Education Center, and a longtime leader in the Latino community.

Thee primary races for Attorney General (Steve Shannon), Arlington County Board (Jay Fisette) and Arlington County School Board (James Lander) are uncontested.