Don Beyer challenger Mike Webb

Mike Webb is shown in a campaign photo from his 2016 bid for Congress. (Photo by Steve Reinis)

A 2016 aspirant for Congress may end up being the first name on the ballot for the 2017 Arlington School Board race.

Michael Webb, who was unsuccessful in his bid for the Republican nomination for the 8th Congressional District last year, has filed the requisite petition signatures to get on the ballot for School Board, county election officials say.

That doesn’t mean Webb is on the ballot just yet; he also must file a formal declaration of candidacy and statement of economic interests, which have yet to be filed, county elections chief Linda Lindberg said.

Webb, a U.S. Army veteran, lost to Charles Hernick in the 2016 race for the GOP congressional nomination. Hernick went on to lose to U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th) in the heavily Democratic district.

Three Democrats – Maureen McMahon, Monique O’Grady and incumbent James Lander – are participating in the May Arlington County Democratic Committee School Board caucus, which will determine that party’s endorsee for the general election. (Political parties in Virginia can’t formally nominate School Board candidates, but can endorse their candidacies.)

If he follows through with the requisite paperwork in a timely manner, Webb will find himself listed first on the Nov. 7 ballot for School Board. Candidates are listed on the ballot in the order of filing, and traditionally, Democrats running in a contested caucus do not file petition signatures until after they learn whether they will be the endorsed candidate.

There’s nothing to stop Lander, McMahon and O’Grady from compiling signatures and filing paperwork in advance of next month’s voting, Lindberg said, but if they did so, then lost the caucus and forgot or declined to file a formal notice of withdrawal, county election officials would be obligated to put them on the ballot.

In addition to Webb and the Democratic threesome, there could be others emerging to run for School Board, as the filing deadline does not occur until June.