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Arlington Dems Pick Garvey in County Board Race

Garvey will face Republican Mark Kelly, Green Party candidate Audrey Clement on March 27 for spot on the board.

Arlington County Democrats picked School Board member Libby Garvey as their nominee for the county board Saturday, according to results from the local party.

With 1,915 votes – or about 44 percent of ballots cast – Garvey handily dominated the five-way Democratic field.

"I feel good. A little shaky. A little tired. But I'm excited," Garvey said after caucus results were announced shortly after 8 p.m. in the Kenmore Middle School gym.

"It helps to have deep roots in the community. I think people are very pleased with the work I've done on the school board, and they'd like to see me on the county board," she said. "I ran on setting priorities, and I think that resonated with voters."

Garvey is expected to face Republican Mark Kelly and Green Party candidate Audrey Clement on March 27. Any other independent candidates who wish to run must file the appropriate paperwork with the county by Friday.

Garvey is running to take the place of Barbara Favola. Favola was elected to the state Senate in November and . Garvey was also endorsed by the Washington Post.

Political and civic activist Melissa Bondi placed second in this week's caucus with 966 votes. Bondi, who had been endorsed by sitting board members Chris Zimmerman and Walter Tejada, said her top priority now was making sure Democrats get elected this year. She said she had no plans for a future run at this time. 

The five-way primary remained fairly civil, though campaign schedules were somewhat hectic given the earlier-than-expected dates for the caucus and the special election. 

Several themes cut across multiple campaigns, including the need for more transparency, the need to hear from more voices in various public processes – including those of younger people and the parents of young children – and the need for an “independent voice” on the all-Democrat county board.

The Arlington County Democratic Committee held its caucus during a two-hour span Thursday night and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

In all, 4,314 ballots were cast, roughly 3 percent of all registered voters in Arlington County. Record turnout for a Democratic caucus is about 5,000 votes, local party Chairman Mike Lieberman said.

"We're excited," Lieberman said. "Libby is an outstanding school board member and is going to make an excellent county board member. We're excited she's our nominee."

The party must certify its nominee to the county by noon Jan. 30.

Voters who participated in this week's caucus had to declare themselves Democrats for the purposes of this caucus, though that does not obligate anyone to support the Democratic nominee in this race or prohibit anyone from voting in non-Democratic primary contests in the future.

Name Votes Melissa Bondi 966 Peter Fallon 178 Libby Garvey 1,915 Kim Klingler 333 Terron Sims II 922 Total 4,314
Janet January 22, 2012 at 02:58 AM
OK, does this mean Patch gives equal coverage to Audrey Clement, Libby Garvey, and Mark Kelly, or will it be the usual - feature after feature about the Democratic candidate while ignoring the Republican and Green candidates?
julie January 24, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I won't ever vote for a politician like Libby Garvey who let our children fall through the cracks in the school system for 15 years.

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