[Sun Gazette editorials represent the viewpoint of Sun Gazette Newspapers, which provides content to, but is otherwise unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

Four years ago, when we endorsed political newcomer Katie Cristol for one of two open County Board seats, we noted that her first-time effort “goes to show that indefatigable and relentlessly upbeat campaigning can blunt the drawbacks of slim civic engagement and a lack of deep understanding of some issues.”

(That might be considered by some to be a backhanded compliment, but if you want something sugary, nosh a doughnut – our endorsements have bite.)

This time around, with Cristol and fellow board Democrat Christian Dorsey seeking their second terms, we profess ourselves pleased enough with Cristol’s performance to believe she merits re-election.

A self-acknowledged wonk (though one with more skills at retail politics than most of her colleagues), Cristol shepherded a number of initiatives through over the past four years, including efforts to modernize county regulations on day-care facilities.

On issues where she has not taken the lead, Cristol generally has been studious in her approach, with her questions helping to advance the conversation and improve the outcome.

Cristol also has served in often unheralded but important regional roles, including her service on the Virginia Railway Express board of operations, which is of limited relevance to Arlingtonians but of more importance to some of our neighbors.

And, whether she has done it out of conviction or political calculation – perhaps a little of both – Cristol has tried to keep the lid on excessive government spending by reining in the real-estate tax rate. It often has been a losing effort, as her colleagues seem to be back in a binge-spending mood.

On the down side, Cristol seems too often to go along with the feel-good left-wing pronouncements of her board colleagues (perhaps that, too, being a combination of conviction and calculation). And she’s been just a tad too open in letting slip that she’d like to rise higher on the political food chain; there’s nothing wrong with aspiring higher, but it has to be done more subtly.

Add up the pluses and the minuses, and we believe KATIE CRISTOL should be one of the two candidates from a field of four elected to the County Board on Nov. 5. We will wait and see which of the other three rises to the top to earn the second endorsement.

• • •

As a reminder, the Sun Gazette already has endorsed Sheriff Beth Arthur, Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy and Treasurer Carla de la Pava for re-election. More endorsements are on the horizon.

(1) comment

ro77

The race has only begun yet you endorse the incumbent. What does this say to current and future County Board challengers? Arlington will be a better community with electoral competition but with such early endorsements potential non-Democratic office seekers will say, why bother. The deck would be stacked against me --- from the Sun Gazette with their limited coverage and quickness to endorse to non-existent Post coverage to a limited number of debates and forums. Take for example, Embracing Arlington Arts, a supposedly non-partisan, non-profit who was quick to hold a televised debate last year when their preferred candidate was challenging the incumbent to this year where they are hosting Ms. Cristol at a "meet & greet" yet not bothering to include the challengers or hold similar events for them. If we want electoral competition now and in the future, then we need to allow for that discussion to take place up until the election.

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