Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy kicked off Arlington’s 2019 election season Dec. 5, announcing plans to seek a fifth four-year term.
“My staff and I remain committed to being an advocate for all taxpayers,” Morroy said in launching her re-election bid before the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
It was the first of what will be many campaign kickoffs at the committee in coming months, as 14 different local seats are on the ballot next November. All currently are held by Democrats.
Morroy was serving in the office of Treasurer Frank O’Leary in 2003 when venerable Commissioner of Revenue Geraldine Whiting decided to retire. She defeated Whiting’s second in command, Margo Horner, to win the Democratic nomination for commissioner of revenue, and went on to defeat Tim Russo in the 2003 general election.
Morroy was unopposed in the 2007, 2011 and 2013 elections. She is “the Democrats’ Democrat and she happens to be one heck of a commissioner of revenue,” said Charley Conrad, a supporter.
Commissioner of revenue is one of five Arlington “constitutional” offices, named because their existence is secured in the Virginia constitution. Others include treasurer, sheriff, commonwealth’s attorney and clerk of the Circuit Court.
Four of the five constitutional offices will be on the Arlington ballot in 2019; the post of clerk of the Circuit Court is an eight-year term and won’t go before voters again until 2023.
In her kickoff, Morroy said that during her 15 years in office, the commissioner of revenue’s office has turned into a “customer-focused” office with a diverse and creative staff.
“They are motived, empowered professionals,” Morroy said.
She pointed to an expanded online presence and the ramping up of a partnership with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, allowing local residents to conduct many DMV transactions at the commissioner’s office.
And working in concert with Treasurer Carla de la Pava, Morroy pointed to aggressive efforts to ensure all taxes and fees due the local government are paid.
“If everybody pays their tax, everybody pays less,” said Morroy, who lives in South Arlington with her husband, Jerry Botland.
Arlington County Republican Committee chairman Jim Presswood has made candidate recruitment a major goal for the GOP, but the party seldom runs candidates for constitutional offices. Over the past century, those occupying the constitutional posts – both Democrats and Republicans – have been some of the longest-serving Arlington elected officials, some with tenures of more than a quarter-century.
There has been no noticeable chatter about the possibility of an intra-party challenger to Morroy, although several other constitutional officers could pick up opponents within the Democratic ranks in coming months.
Morroy traditionally has been an early announcer; in the run-up to the 2015 elections, she kicked off her bid in December 2014, leading the pack. In addition to the constitutional offices, Arlington voters next November will see two County Board seats, a School Board seat and legislative (state Senate and House of Delegates) seats on the ballot.