Chanda Choun, who was slated to face off against incumbent Libby Garvey in the June 23 Democratic County Board primary, anticipates pulling out of that race to seek the Democratic nomination for the July 7 special election to fill the seat left open by the death of Erik Gutshall.
Choun on April 25 told the Sun Gazette he was preparing to file candidate-withdrawal paperwork with the county elections office to formally depart the June 23 race, leaving Garvey the sole candidate for the nomination.
At press time, county election officials had not received the paperwork, but had received guidance from state officials that, if Choun does drop out, the Democratic primary will be nixed.
Even if the Democratic primary is canceled, however, polls will be open across Arlington and statewide on June 23 for the Republican U.S. Senate primary, as the GOP selects its nominee to take on U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). But not having to hold the Democratic primary likely will reduce strain on the elections office, which is attempting to recruit pollworkers to staff Arlington’s more than 50 precincts and address social-distancing guidelines that likely will still be in place.
(Under Virginia law, voters do not register by political party and can vote in any primary, though not those of competing parties if held on the same day.)
Garvey has served on the County Board since winning a special election in the spring of 2012 to fill the unexpired term of Barbara Favola, who was elected to the state Senate. Garvey won re-election in the 2012 and 2016 general elections.
Choun in 2018 ran in the Democratic primary for County Board, but fell short to Matt de Ferranti. De Ferranti, in turn, defeated independent incumbent John Vihstadt that November.