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Sun Gazette: A Quick Night for Unopposed Candidates in County Print

BY Scott McCaffrey

Created:  Tuesday, November 8, 2011 


There was no drama in a large number of local races on Election Night, as Democratic contenders ran unopposed.

Races for School Board, several legislative seats and all four constitutional offices on the ballot had but a single name on the ballot. Among them:

School Board: Abby Raphael was unopposed for re-election to a second four-year term in office, having faced no opposition from within the Democratic ranks earlier in the year.

Like the County Board, races for School Board are countywide, and each year brings either one or (in 2012) two board seats to the ballot. Although School Board posts officially are nonpartisan in Virginia, all five current School Board members come from within the Democratic ranks.

Raphael was chosen by her colleagues in July to serve as School Board chairman for the current school year. She was first elected in 2007 after winning the Democratic endorsement.

Treasurer: Democrat Frank O’Leary was returned to office for an eighth term, facing no opposition this time.

First elected in a narrow victory over Republican Dorothy Grotos in 1983, O’Leary is in line to become Arlington’s longest-serving elected official ever during his coming term.

The 2011 race was expected to be something of a political last hurrah for O’Leary; his chief deputy, Carla de la Pava, is likely to run to succeed him in 2015.

Commissioner of Revenue: Democrat Ingrid Morroy was returned for a third four-year term without opposition. She had been a deputy to Treasurer Frank O’Leary when she first won office, and since that time has embarked on modernization of the office’s procedures.

The commissioner’s office is responsible for administering a host of tax-related matters.

Sheriff: Democrat Beth Arthur was unopposed for re-election to the office she has held since 2000, when she was appointed to fill the post following the departure of then-Sheriff Thomas Faust.

Arthur began as a budget analyst in the office more than a quarter-century ago. In Arlington, the sheriff’s office is responsible for court security and operation of the jail.

Commonwealth’s Attorney: Democrat Theo Stamos was elected the county’s top prosecutor without opposition. She will succeed Richard Trodden, the low-key commonwealth’s attorney who announced in January he would be retiring after more than a dozen years on the job.

A veteran of more than 20 years in the office, Stamos was Trodden’s favored successor. In a Democratic primary against local defense attorney David Deane, she picked up the backing of most of the Democratic establishment, and won by a margin of 4-to-1. Republicans opted not to field an opponent.

47th House of Delegates: It was smooth sailing for Democrat Patrick Hope, who had no opposition in his bid for a second term in the lower house of the legislature.

That was a far cry from two years ago, when Hope had to work his way through a five-candidate Democratic primary and then take on Republican Eric Brescia in the general election.

Hope, an attorney, has spent much of his first term in office working on social-service issues. He also cofounded the Progressive Caucus in Richmond.

The 47th District includes much the central portion of the county. It is the only one of Arlington’s four House of Delegates seats that is entirely contained within the county.

49th House of Delegates: Democrat Alfonso Lopez will return to Richmond, where he worked during the administration of Gov. Tim Kaine, as a freshman member of the lower house of the legislature.

Lopez, who was unopposed in the general election, defeated Stephanie Dix Clifford in the August Democratic primary for the district, which includes much of Arlington south of Columbia Pike as well as portions of Alexandria. The seat opened up when Del. Adam Ebbin opted to run for state Senate.

Lopez served Kaine as head of the state government’s Washington office, and more recently held posts in the Obama administration. He also had served as vice chairman of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

45th House of Delegates: Democrat David Englin of Alexandria was returned for a fifth term in office. The district includes just a few precincts in Arlington, being centered in Alexandria.

Englin is rising through the ranks of leadership in the Democrat-depleted House of Delegates, and has pressed a progressive agenda during his years in Richmond.

Republicans fielded a challenger in 2009, but couldn’t find one this year.