Arlington candidates Tafti, Stamos

Parisa Tafti, left, challenged incumbent Arlington commonwealth’s attorney Theo Stamos in the June 11 primary.

Money can’t buy you love, as the Beatles sang, but apparently it does the trick when running for elected office these days.

Buoyed by oodles of out-of-state political-action-committee cash, Parisa Tafti narrowly defeated the incumbent commonwealth’s attorney for Arlington and Falls Church, Theo Stamos, based on complete but unofficial reports.

The final unofficial tally was 14,828 votes, or 52 percent, for Tafti to 13,700 for Stamos. Tafti won both Arlington and Falls Church by relatively similar percentages to the overall total.

Tafti, who has no experience as a prosecutor and ran significantly to the left of the eight-year incumbent in a race that was heated from the start, benefited from hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign support from a PAC boosted by financier George Soros. Democratic-leaning voters were inundated with campaign mailers, online ads and even television advertising from the Tafti campaign, which significantly out-spent Stamos.

Stamos supporters were hopeful that in the last weeks of the campaign, a tide of revulsion about the spending levels would set in and take their candidate to victory. But it was not to be.

Stamos had a number of problems she was unable to surmount, including her support for Republican-backed independent John Vihstadt in 2014 and 2018 Arlington County Board races, and positions about jurisprudence that seemed out of line with the increasingly leftward tilt of the Democratic electorate.

No Republicans filed to run in the general election, but an independent did get his paperwork in under the June 11 filing deadline.

If Frank Webb qualifies for the ballot – something that will be known in coming days – there will be a faceoff with Tafti on Nov. 5. Given the strength of the Democratic sample ballot in Arlington and Falls Church, though, Webb’s chances likely will be somewhere between slim and none.

Four years ago, Webb filed to take on Stamos but did not meet all the filing requirements and was kept off the ballot.


(12) comments


Given the Wusses, Wimps, and Cowards who Own and Publish the Local Media, it's a foregone conclusion that Advertising, and Infomercial Revenue Trumps unbiased news, never mind that 'Investigative Journalism" has also been dead inside the Beltway for more than a decade.


FYI - Frank Webb was a significant financial contributor to the person he is now seeking to challenge in November. My bet is he withdraws his papers with no general election match up. This was done to hedge their bets in case Theo won the primary so they all could continue with the mistruths and distortions of Theo's record into November. Perfectly legal but seriously disingenuous.


It is kind of hilarious that you think Frank Webb is involved in some broader election conspiracy. He did that on his own with the help of like three other defense attorneys, all of whom were merely concerned about the future of the local justice system if Stamos won. Tafti had absolutely nothing to do with any of it and didn't even know it was going on.

Catherine Christine

If one looks closely I believe there are actual photos of Amy Ashworth supporting Mr. Ebert four years ago. If so, the only “drastic†change is in Ms. Ashworth and her positions.


I am dismayed by the tone and content of this piece. Ms. Dehghani-Tafti is more closely aligned with the values of the majority of Arlington County residents. She was also the more civil candidate in debates, and demonstrated that she cares about Arlington’s diverse residents, not just the privileged. She had an uphill battle to win over residents, many of whom know and respect the incumbent. If more candidates had financial support to get in the race, we might see even more progressive, thoughtful individuals jumping in and bringing new ideas and perspectives. I am grateful to Ms. Dehghani-Tafti for undertaking a long, hard-driving campaign, and feel good about the future of Arlington and Falls Church.


100% Correct


Yep. Even in defeat, the Sun Gazette didn't even make the slightest effort to understand criminal justice reform, and our community is far worse off as a result.


I find it fascinating that ragingly socialist liberal McLean, Falls Church, Arlington and Fairfax is located so close to the less liberal counties to the west. I guess easy wealth breads easy give away politics while hard working tax payers have a better sense of how to earn their money and hold onto it. So in strolls piles of Socialist Democrat California ( classic art friend of Nazi Germany during the war) George Soros to promote his crazed view of full control of America one piece at a time...and many inside the Beltway buy it. Well remember, you will get what you vote for and if you think all those piles of cash for her to win comes "string free" you are crazy.


Last I saw George Soros lives on an estate north of NYC not far from Hill and Bill. The election was all about Millennials who are unhappy about Arlington's crackdown on free range behavior, e.g., pub crawls, marijuana smoking in public, disorderly conduct, etc.


Yes. Arlington's Commonwealth's Attorney's Primary was about loosening restrictions on free-range behavior by Millennials, including drug use - marijuana and cocaine.


Congratulations, Parisa!!! Theo supporters are just upset they lost and will look for any excuse to justify why. You EARNED it. :)


Millennials are a Privileged Class in Arlington. They were unhappy that they could no longer make the Clarendon Blvd. at Wilson Blvd. neighborhood Dysfunction Junction weekends and blamed the over-55 Democratic Moderates. Look for a big increase in bad behavior again after January.

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