John Vihstadt re-election kickoff

John Vihstadt.

The Arlington Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association has endorsed County Board member John Vihstadt for re-election.

“Our union shares John Vihstadt’s spending priorities of core services first,” said Brian Lynch, president of the organization, who praised Vihstadt’s efforts in 2016 to secure additional firefighter positions and in 2018 to improve compensation and scheduling.

“Vihstadt recognizes today’s competitive marketplace, and his leadership was key in helping us to make up some lost ground,” Lynch said.

The firefighters’ group, an affiliate of the International Association of Fire Fighters and the AFL-CIO, previously endorsed Vihstadt in his first bid for office four years ago.

(In Virginia, organizations representing public-sector workers are prohibited from collective bargaining or striking, so they operate more as professional organizations than as unions in the traditional sense.)

Vihstadt, who won special and general elections in 2014 to become the first non-Democrat to serve on the County Board since 1999, is being challenged by Democrat Matt de Ferranti in the Nov. 6 election.