The Arlington County Republican Committee’s efforts to regain a toehold in local governance may continue to suffer from a general disinterest in local affairs from many within the party’s rank and file.
A new survey conducted by the GOP committee found that more than two-thirds of respondents were most interested in federal-level policy, with the remaining third about equally split between state-level and local-level governance as their top priority.
“This provides unique challenges,” noted Matthew Hurtt, communications director for the Arlington County Republican Committee. But he said the focus on federal matters was not particularly surprising, “given our close proximity to Washington.”
The survey was designed to give new Arlington GOP chairman Andrew Loposser a snapshot of interests of members. A total of 86 responses were tallied.
On major issues, immigration ranked as one of the top concerns among 79 percent of respondents, followed by taxes and spending (67 percent), the Second Amendment (43 percent), elections (33 percent), social issues (33 percent), health care (30 percent) and foreign policy (30 percent).
Asked how the local GOP could regain relevance in local governance, ideas ranged from getting more active at County Board meetings and in civic associations to reaching out to underserved demographic groups.
“A few respondents even suggested Arlington elected officials” as speakers at future GOP meetings. “Their reasoning was that we are all still their constituents, even if they are Democrats.”
(Several years ago, Del. Patrick Hope, D-47th, was invited to speak to the committee, and did provide remarks.)