Rushed Primary Election Sets the Stage for Special Election

After Delegate Robert Brink (D-Arlington) resigned from Virginia’s 48th House District on June 30, Republicans and Democrats scrambled to nominate David Foster and Mclean lawyer Richard “Rip” Sullivan, respectively.

House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) set the special election date for Aug. 19, which meant that the nominees had to be turned in by July 7. The short notice forced the parties to rush their campaigns and scramble over the holiday weekend. Even in spite of this, 100-200 members attended the candidate forum on Saturday to learn about the candidates’ positions and over 2,100 people voted in the Democratic caucus on Sunday afternoon.

Democratic nominee Sullivan had a narrow victory over Paul Holland, environmental consultant and communications director for the Arlington Democratic Party, and Andrew Schneider, director of the College of William and Mary’s Washington Area Alumni Business Alliance.

Republican nominee Foster, former president of the Virginia Board of Education and Arlington School Board chairman, said that if he was elected, he would try to redirect the General Assembly’s attention away from Arlington’s “impractical and unaffordable” Columbia Pike streetcar proposal and towards more important things like roads, schools and tax relief.



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