Ordinarily, the headline “Democrats endorse Democratic candidate” wouldn’t merit breaking-news status.
But in this case, a new trio of endorsements cuts down on the potential number of elected Democrats who might end up defecting to independent John Vihstadt in November’s Arlington County Board race.
The campaign of Democratic nominee Matt de Ferranti has picked up the backing of County Board Chairman Katie Cristol, Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy and Sheriff Beth Arthur – his first elected-official endorsements since winning the June 12 Democratic primary over Chanda Choun.
Prior to the primary, de Ferranti had garnered the support of School Board members Tannia Talento and Reid Goldstein; Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson; state Sen. Adam Ebbin; and Dels. Rip Sullivan and Alfonso Lopez.
On the other side of the ledger, Vihstadt earlier in the year picked up the endorsement of a trio of elected Democrats: County Board member Libby Garvey, Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos and Treasurer Carla de la Pava.
Garvey and Stamos backed Vihstadt when he first ran for office in 2014; de la Pava did not endorse in the 2014 campaign.
The recent spate of endorsements leaves a dwindling number of local elected officials in play for both sides to attempt to woo.
Vihstadt in 2014 became the first non-Democrat in 15 years to win a seat on the County Board. He defeated Democrat Alan Howze in a springtime special election necessitated by the resignation of Chris Zimmerman, then went on to defeat Howze a second time in that year’s general election.