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Although his announcement was temporarily derailed by a snafu too common in the Zoom era, Arlington County Board member Takis Karantonis on Feb. 3 formally kicked off his bid for re-election with comments before the Arlington County Democratic Committee.
Winning election to the five-member body last year was “the honor of my life,” Karantonis said at the party’s monthly meeting, held online.
“I really believe in Arlington and I want to shape our future,” he said.
Karantonis, a planner and former executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, last July won a special election to fill the remainder of the term of board member Erik Gutshall, who died of cancer in early 2020.
Before garnering an easy victory in the three-candidate special election, Karantonis scored a come-from-behind victory in a Democratic nominating caucus last June, using the party’s instant-runoff process to vault past School Board member Barbara Kanninen.
Kanninen had led on the first ballot in the caucus, but could not pick up enough additional votes in subsequent rounds of voting to sustain her lead, and was overtaken by Karantonis.
Limited to a three-minute kickoff speech, Karantonis on Feb. 3 was understandably short on specifics, but did point to County Board efforts on housing affordability, planning and small business. He tangentially touched on the importance of getting schools open, and said “beating COVID is the No. 1 priority for me and my colleagues.”
(His remarks were cut into two segments after Karantonis found himself knocked offline in the middle of his speech. Democrats moved on to other matters until his connection could be restored and his speech resumed.)
Should any challengers emerge within the Democratic fold in coming months, the party will pick its nominee via a state-run primary in June. If Karantonis is the only candidate, the primary would be canceled and the party would hold an up-or-down vote on whether to nominate him.
Karantonis has not felt the need to build a significant war chest to fend off challenger from within or outside the party. He reported a campaign-account balance of a modest $6,230 at the end of December, most of it the remnants of his 2020 campaign.
His campaign Website is www.takisforarlington.com.