It was a race essentially overshadowed by the June 11 Democratic primary, but School Board Chairman Reid Goldstein easily turned back a challenge from David Priddy.
Goldstein won 62 percent of the vote in three days of caucus voting conducted by the Arlington County Democratic Committee, and will move on to the Nov. 5 general election in search of a second four-year term.
Exactly who his competition may be in November could remain up in the air until 7 p.m. on June 11, the closing date for all candidate filings. There are some whiffs in the political winds that the field might grow before that deadline hits.
Although some were predicting a closer outcome, the caucus results suggest Priddy couldn’t make inroads against the incumbent, particularly as he seldom made any direct attacks on the performance of Goldstein or the incumbent School Board.
The Arlington County Democratic Committee held nighttime voting on June 4 and June 6 and all-day voting on June 8.
Perhaps because of the low-key nature of the race, voter apathy was rampant. The 2019 caucus drew far fewer voters (1,994) than the nearly 6,000 who cast ballots in the last major contested School Board race, when in 2017 Monique O’Grady ousted incumbent James Lander in a three-way race. O’Grady went on to win the general election.
Virginia state law considers School Board posts to be nonpartisan, so political parties do not have the option of using a state-run primary to select their candidates and must call their choices “endorsees” rather than “nominees.” All five current School Board members won the Democratic endorsement on their way to general-election victories.
Those participating in the caucus were required to sign a pledge that they would not support non-Democrats in the upcoming general election.