An Arlington County Democratic Committee School Board caucus? Fuggedaboutit.
Incumbent School Board Chairman Barbara Kanninen was the lone candidate to file to run in the caucus, which had been slated for several days in May. With no opposition bubbling up, the caucus was nixed.
There is still plenty of time – until early June – for prospective School Board candidates to secure ballot access for the general election, but the Democratic endorsement carries plenty of weight. All five of the current School Board members won the Democratic nod on their way to general-election victories, and the last non-Democrat to serve on the School Board, David Foster, left office in 2007.
Kanninen, who is in the fourth year of her first term, formally announced her re-election bid in January, saying the school system had a plan in place to address ongoing student growth while meeting the individual needs of the student body.
Kanninen, who rotated in for a one-year stint as chairman of the five-member body last July, first ran for School Board in 2013, losing a narrow Arlington Democratic caucus race to incumbent James Lander.
A year later, Kanninen won a three-way Democratic caucus against Nancy Van Doren and Greg Greeley for an open seat, and went on to defeat Audrey Clement in the general election.
Under state law, all School Board seats officially are nonpartisan, but political parties can “endorse” candidates even if they can’t formally nominate them.
Democrats do have a contest for County Board, where Matt de Ferranti and Chanda Choun will compete in a June primary. The winner goes on to battle independent incumbent board member John Vihstadt in November.