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It was not a bad showing by the three Arlington County Board independents running against incumbent Democrat Takis Karantonis, as campaign season kicked off with the Committee of 100 debate last week.

Audrey Clement, Mike Cantwell and Adam Theo presented themselves well and followed our advice (proffered in this space last week), unsheathing the knives and thrusting away at the Democratic oligarchy running the county.

From housing to virtue signaling, the incumbents sliced and diced at the policies and proclivities of current County Board fivesome, as represented in the debate by Karantonis.

Will it work? Let’s be realistic: The three challengers will split up perhaps 40 percent of the vote among them, meaning that even if there were ranked-choice voting (which there won’t be), it would be a moot point.

Karantonis, who certainly held his own in the debate, will employ the traditional Arlington Democratic tactic of rope-a-dope – let the challengers pummel away all they want and wait it out for the public to follow the Democratic sample ballot, giving him victory.

Anyway, that’s the prevailing theory. We shall see.

On the School Board front, Democratic endorsee Mary Kadera was her usual well-prepared self at the event. She sometimes comes off as a walking and talking term paper, but one can’t doubt her sincerity.

One does wonder if, once on the board, she will be co-opted by some of the other members into their factions, or if she emerges as her own power base and starts co-opting some of the others into her orbit.

And as for School Board candidate “Major” Mike Webb, who was a no-show at the debate? To borrow the words of our sometimes dazed and confused president: “C’mon, man.” Why take the effort to get on the ballot if you won’t participate in the process?

(1) comment

Janet Smith

Classic Sun Gazette: Good performances by the Independent candidates for County Board. Too bad they can't win.

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