8th District candidate forum

8th District congressional candidates Julio Gracia, Charles Hernick and Don Beyer squared off Sept. 6, 2016, in a forum sponsored by the Arlington County Civic Federation.

The titular head of Arlington’s Democratic establishment has promised the party will turn around its recent national misfortunes, but said it may require some time.

“We’re all still grieving and trying to find our way forward,” U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th) said on Nov. 16, eight days after voters sent Donald Trump to the White House and left Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Beyer, who easily won his own re-election bid in a solid-blue congressional district, said Democrats need to “be ever more committed” to pressing forward with the party’s ideas and ideals.

“You win elections, you lose elections, but we can’t possibly lose the will to fight back – fighting back for our country,” he said.

Prior to the election, Beyer said an aspiration as he starts his second term is an appointment on the House Ways & Means Committee, which develops tax policy. He called it a 50-50 shot whether he gets it.

Trump’s confound-the-experts election probably means a quieter 2017 on the local political scene. With the new president unlikely to select any local political leaders for posts in the incoming administration – and Democrats unlikely to accept anything that might be proffered – there is less likelihood of special elections to fill unfilled terms at the local or legislative level.