The Arlington County Democratic Committee has announced a series of debates for what could be a hotly contested race to fill the soon-to-be-vacant seat on the Arlington County Board now held by Chris Zimmerman.
So far, three candidates — Peter Fallon, Alan Howze, and Cord Thomas — have announced their intention to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination in an upcoming caucus. Potential candidates must file a letter of intent with the Democratic Party chairman by Jan. 20.
The county Democratic Party will sponsor four debates for its candidates, according to a news release:
- 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, 4301 Wilson Blvd.
- 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Campbell Elementary School, 737 S. Carlin Springs Road.
- 8 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at Glebe Elementary School, 1770 N. Glebe Road.
- 8 to 9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at Drew Model Elementary School, 3500 S. 23rd St.
The Arlington Young Democrats will also sponsor a debate at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. That debate will focus on youth issues, including cost of living concerns, according to a news release from the group.
Democrats will use an instant-runoff process for their caucus this year. That means rather than picking a single candidate, voters will rank the candidates by order of preference. Votes will be tallied until a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote. This process will be explained before each debate and more information can be found here: http://www.fairvote.org/what-is-irv/.
The Democratic Party will hold an unassembled caucus from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at Key Elementary School, 2300 Key Blvd., and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at Kenmore Middle School, 200 S. Carlin Springs Road.
Zimmerman, the second-longest-serving board member in Arlington's history, announced his resignation in November and has since said his last day will be in February.
Once he names his final day, the Arlington County Circuit Court will select a date for a special election to fill his seat.
Tara-Leeway Heights resident John Vihstadt, a Republican, has announced he will seek the GOP and Green Party nominations for the seat.
Vihstadt has called for halting the planned Columbia Pike streetcar system — a project Zimmerman championed — and counts some notable Arlington Democrats among his supporters, including Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey and Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos.
Libertarian Evan Bernick announced his candidacy on Thursday.
This article was originally published Jan. 2, 2014.