[Sun Gazette Newspapers provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

With local-election season now upon us – that snuck up on us! – we are going to proffer our usual, and usually ignored, advice to those candidates in the local area attempting to unseat incumbents at the ballot box.

(In Arlington, that includes the three independent challengers for the County Board seat currently being defended by Takis Karantonis, and Republicans and independents running against incumbent Dels. Patrick Hope, Alfonso Lopez and Rip Sullivan.)

Challengers, we do not want to hear platitudes. Frankly, we don’t care much about your life stories. Fourteen-point policy plans are about 13 too long for our attention spans. We’re not even much interested in what you’d do if you end up being elected, because the odds of that are long and the chance, even if elected, you will have much of a chance to implement a policy platform (particularly among the County Board oligarchy) is practically nil.

What we DO want to hear from you is this: What is the incumbent you are seeking to unseat doing wrong? Why is it therefore imperative that he (they are all “he” this time out) be ousted?

If you can’t answer that simple question – or if you choose not to do so – how in the world do you expect voters to vote for you, or us to endorse you?

We bring this up at the start of just about every election, and it is roughly at this point in the editorial that we note the case of Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, who while not our favorite candidate, was very direct in the 2019 Democratic primary in pointing out what she believed incumbent Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos was doing wrong in office.

Deghani-Tafti gave people a reason to support her (even if we were not among them). That, plus a whoooole lot of outside cash, enabled her to eke out a victory in the primary.

So candidates of 2021, you have your marching orders. If you won’t draw clear distinctions between yourself and those you seek to topple, we (and voters) will lose interest in you verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry quickly.

(5) comments

Abbey Sinclair

Another hokey dopey Editorial biased against Independent candidates running for Arlington Board of Supervisors against an entrenched Regime.

Audrey Clement

It is abundantly clear from the SG editor's story at the link below that challengers ARE going after the incumbent. Me thinks the SG editor doth protest too much.

https://www.insidenova.com/news/arlington/incumbent-takes-flak-from-challengers-as-arlington-board-race-kicks-off/article_6f421c3a-122a-11ec-840c-ef2a29739ad0.html

Janet Smith

Comments are disappearing again.

Donald Quella

But...You just reported that all three of the Independent candidates for Arlington Board went after the Democratic incumbent and offered substantive alternatives to the status quo.

Janet Smith

This is a joke, right? You just reported that the three Independent candidates for Arlington County Board offered plenty of reasons, during the Committee of 100 debate,we should vote for one of them rather than the incumbent Democrat.

Welcome to the discussion.

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