De la Pava, Van Doren receive endorsements

Nancy Van Doren and Carla de la Pava have received Democratic endorsements for special elections for Arlington School Board and treasurer, respectively.

The Arlington County Democratic Committee on Aug. 6 formally nominated Carla de la Pava for treasurer and endorsed the candidacy of Nancy Van Doren for School Board in special elections to take place concurrently with the Nov. 4 general election.

Both votes were unanimous; de la Pava and Van Doren were the only contenders to seek nods from the Democrats.

“I love my job,” said de la Pava, who has served as treasurer since the retirement of Frank O’Leary in early July. She made three promises in remarks at the monthly Democratic meeting: Her office would show no favoritism, would be accurate and would be timely in helping taxpayers in need.

“I am holding myself and the people in my office to the highest standards,” said de la Pava, who served as chief deputy treasurer under O’Leary for the past six years.

No one has emerged to take on de la Pava in the special election; Republicans tried but failed to field a candidate. There remains time, though, as the filing deadline is Aug. 15.

But her election seems a sure bet.

“There is nobody who is going to be a better treasurer for this community,” said Betsey Wildhack, a local attorney and longtime behind-the-scenes leader in Democratic campaigns. “She focuses on doing the right things.”

“Carla knows that being the treasurer is more than collecting the taxes,” said Wildhack, who highlighted an initiative that has  made the treasurer’s office responsible for receiving court-ordered restitution due victims of crime.

Van Doren is seeking to fill the seat of School Board member Noah Simon, who resigned effective Aug. 1 to deal with family matters. Like de la Pava, Van Doren was the lone Democrat to file for the party’s support, and so far is the only candidate to announce a bid prior to the filing deadline.

Unlike de la Pava, Van Doren will be running as an independent, since School Board members in Virginia are elected on a nonpartisan basis. Political parties are allowed to “endorse” candidacies.

“I’ll work diligently” if elected, Van Doren said, “making sure I do the best for all families of Arlington, and the entire community.”

In May, Van Doren finished second behind Barbara Kanninen in a Democratic caucus for the School Board seat of Sally Baird, who is not seeking a third term. When Simon announced on July 1 he planned to step down, Van Doren was ready to make a run for his seat.

(The third candidate in the May caucus, Greg Greeley, has endorsed Van Doren for the special election. “She has the experience to serve all of Arlington’s students,” he said at the Aug. 6 meeting.)

In one of those twists of fate, Van Doren lost the caucus but likely will end up on the School Board at least a month before Kanninen, who will take office in January if she defeats Audrey Clement in the general election.

Assuming they run unopposed this time, de la Pava next will face voters in November 2015, with Van Doren going back to the electorate in November 2016.