Leadership of the Arlington County Civic Federation has rescinded a debate invitation to a School Board candidate, saying he failed to return required paperwork in time to allow participation.
As a result, Mike Webb will be watching from the audience as the forum goes forward Tuesday evening.
Civic Federation president Duke Banks said Webb was the lone contender who failed to sign and return the form required by the federation, agreeing to the rules of the debate, by the Sept. 1 deadline.
“All candidates, other than Mr. Webb, complied,” Banks told the Sun Gazette. “The form in question has been used in previous years in putting on our traditional candidates’ forum, and it has never been a problem until now. As much as we did not want to do this, we felt that rules were rules.”
In an e-mail sent to the media and political leaders, Webb accused the Civic Federation of “duplicity” but did not address specifics.
Webb’s exclusion means that Monique O’Grady, who in May defeated incumbent James Lander to garner the Arlington County Democratic Committee endorsement, will be the only School Board candidate taking part in the forum. Candidate Allison Dough earlier told Civic Federation leadership she had other commitments that day, and could not make the event.
This is not the first time Webb, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for U.S. House of Representatives last year, has found himself tripped up by paperwork requirements. Earlier this year, he sparred with county election officials over requirements for gaining access to the ballot in the School Board race. Ultimately, he qualified.
The candidate forum, slated for 7 p.m. at Virginia Hospital Center, also will feature panels of candidates vying for County Board and the 49th District House of Delegates. Three other legislative races are unopposed; the Democratic incumbents will attend the October Civic Federation meeting, make remarks and field questions.