And the Winner Is…

Arlington Sun Gazette
And the Winner Is . . .
(Created: Wednesday, September 5, 2007 1:56 AM EDT)

For the second year in a row, Green Party Arlington County Board candidate Josh Ruebner takes home my award for best performance by a contender at the Arlington County Civic Federation candidate night.

Ruebner’s left-of-center politics don’t exactly jibe with my (cough) down-the-middle independent-minded Yankee Doodle centrism. As vice chairman for economic development of the local chamber of commerce, do you think I’d be in support of his proposal for a moratorium on new development? Ah, that would be a negative.

But I can’t deny his abilities at a podium. Ruebner’s efforts outshined the four other County Board contenders, including veteran Democratic politicians Walter Tejada and Mary Hynes.

I’ll be putting together the Sun Gazette’s report card on the performances of candidates today and posting it in the near future. For now, enjoy some other tidbits from the meeting, which is the traditional kick-off of Arlington’s campaign season:

* Kudos to Civic Federation chief Larry Mayer, who again this year kept the meeting on track and had everyone out the door before 10 p.m. That’s a tough assignment for any candidate forum, especially one with so many offices up for grabs.

* I thought many of the challengers turned in better-than-expected performances. Might make for a more lively campaign season than some of the cluelessness we’ve lived through in recent campaigns.

* A number of candidates didn’t show up. In one case, the absence was completely understandable. In others, it wasn’t. I’ll elaborate later.

* I’m guessing that County Board Chairman Paul Ferguson might be asking around the corridors of government why he wasn’t informed about a new audit of the Trades Center, one that apparently shows some deficiencies. Ferguson, running for Clerk of the Circuit Court, was caught unawares when the issue was brought up. For “Mr. Arlington Environment” not to know about such a report indeed is a bit inexplicable. Wouldn’t want to be county staff today.

* There were a lot of readers of this blog on hand. Kind of makes all the typing worthwhile!

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