Arlington Democrats Also Defend Elected Officials Representing Arlington in U.S. Senate, Congressional and County Board Seats, Elect Endorsed Candidates to School Board
ARLINGTON, Va., Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020—Months of campaign work by the Arlington County Democratic Committee (Arlington Democrats) that had to be re-imagined to comply with public safety measures required by the COVID-19 pandemic paid off with a slate of victories by candidates supported by the party, including President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris.
Democrats easily secured Virginia’s 13 electoral votes for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Election Day, Nov. 3. More than 80% of Arlingtonians voted Democratic in the presidential race, contributing a net margin of over 80,000 votes to the commanding Democratic statewide win.
Biden and Harris declared victory today after the conclusion of the standard post-election vote counting process in the pivotal swing state of Pennsylvania, which pushed the Democratic ticket over the required 270 electoral college votes. This year’s count took longer than previous elections because pandemic-related recommended social distancing measures prompted record-breaking early and mail-in voting, which produced ballots that generally took longer to count and overwhelmingly favored the Democratic ticket. Biden won both the Electoral College and popular vote, garnering more than any presidential candidate in U.S. history. Harris also made history in her own right, becoming the first woman, first African-American, and first Indian-American to be elected vice president.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, who represent Arlington, were comfortably reelected, as was Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. Cristina Diaz-Torres and David Priddy, who Arlington Democrats endorsed in the nonpartisan contest for Arlington School Board, also won their races.
“Arlington Democrats thank all of the candidates who ran for office on the Arlington ballot and celebrate Democratic victories, across the county, Commonwealth and country,” Arlington Dems Chair Jill Caiazzo said. “We fought hard to elect Democratic leaders who have the wisdom and empathy to address the serious challenges the country now faces, and we will continue to support their efforts to achieve a more prosperous, sustainable and just future for all.”
Arlington Democrats and Arlington Young Democrats Mounted Formidable Nationwide Volunteer GOTV Effort
Hundreds of Arlington volunteers called, texted, and wrote to voters across Virginia and the country. The Beyond Arlington team, which seeks to make a difference in key races outside of Arlington, fielded nearly 200 volunteers in support of over 12 congressional candidates across the Commonwealth, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Florida. In addition, the Arlington Dems’ Blue Families program, which seeks to make political engagement accessible to parents and kids, organized a postcard-writing project which reached more than 193,000 voters in battleground states, such as Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina, and swing districts in Virginia. Blue Families volunteers also made calls to thousands of North Carolina voters whose ballots needed to be cured of deficiencies prior to the close of voting.
The Arlington Young Dems (AYD) also worked around the clock this election cycle to ensure voters in key battleground states had their voices heard. With multiple phone banking and text banking opportunities each week in the months leading up to the election, AYD contacted more than 100,000 people. “From Maine to Florida and all the way out to Arizona, we worked to build back a better future for our country with Biden at the helm,” said AYD President Dan Matthews. “We’re not stopping here either. There are still ballots left to be counted and we will be doing our part to ensure their acceptance. Join us to make sure #EveryVoteCounts.”
Caiazzo echoed this sentiment, noting: “Even in the face of a pandemic that is ravaging our country, Arlington Democrats and Arlington Young Democrats continued our efforts to support Democratic candidates statewide. Arlingtonians reaffirmed that they have a clear vision of where Virginia and the country should be headed—and it’s not in the direction that the extreme Trump-GOP would take us. We are proud to have contributed to critical victories in Virginia and other battleground states.”
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner
Warner decisively defeated Republican challenger Daniel Gade for a third term in the U.S. Senate. Senator Warner currently serves as vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and has played a crucial role in holding the Trump Administration accountable for the past four years. His strong victory further emphasizes Virginians’ rejection of Trumpism in the Commonwealth.
U.S. Rep. Don Beyer
Beyer handily defeated Republican Jeff Jordan for a fourth term in the House of Representatives. Beyer has been a leading voice on pandemic relief funding, climate change, gun violence prevention, voting rights, and more.
“I thank Virginians of the 8th Congressional District for giving me two more years to continue the work for progress,” Beyer said. “I thank them also for helping propel Vice President Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris as well as Sen. Mark Warner to victory in the Commonwealth. All of us are focused on delivering a brighter future for Virginia, and for the country, and I'm honored and humbled once again to be given this opportunity.”
Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey
Garvey was easily reelected to the County Board, where she has served since 2012, defeating Independent candidate Audrey Clement.
“Thank you to the voters of Arlington County for your support and confidence in me,” Garvey said. “I am honored to serve our community for another four years. I’d also like to congratulate Audrey Clement, my opponent, for running a civil campaign that focused on the issues as she sees them. It is not easy to run for office. Finally, big thanks to my team and supporters and to the Arlington Democrats for their incredible effort this year to get everyone out to vote.”
Arlington School Board Members-Elect Cristina Diaz-Torres and David Priddy
Diaz-Torres and Priddy were newly elected to the Arlington School Board, defeating independent candidate Symone Walker.
A former teacher, Diaz-Torres is an education policy specialist who works with school districts, state education agencies, and education organizations across the country to improve student outcomes by creating evidence-based systems and policies. She is an active and effective advocate within Arlington Public Schools, serving as a member of the APS Budget Advisory Council. She also serves on Arlington County’s Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission and the Joint Facilities Advisory Commission.
“I am honored that David Priddy and I will join Monique O'Grady, Barbara Kanninen, and Reid Goldstein as members of the Arlington County School Board,” Diaz-Torres said. “I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from Arlingtonians from all parts of the county. I want to thank Symone Walker for running an excellent campaign focused on instruction. Our entire community benefits from her advocacy. We must all work together to build back a better, more equitable APS.”
An Arlington-native and community activist, Priddy is a former business executive with deep experience managing complex operations and balancing budgets in challenging economic circumstances. The father of two young children, he has served as the president of the Thomas Jefferson Middle School Parent-Teacher Association and as an active member of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Equity and Excellence, the Advisory Council on Instruction, and the County Council of PTAs.
“I am humbled by this outpouring of support and want to take a moment to thank Symone Walker and her team for a substantive campaign,” Priddy said. “Looking to the future, I am excited to collaborate with Cristina and the other board members to continue building a collaborative framework for education governance—where all stakeholders are earnestly heard—as we shape a better, more equitable, and transparent APS.”
The seats to which Diaz-Torres and Priddy were elected are being vacated by School Board members Tannia Talento and Nancy Van Doren at the end of their current terms. Both received the Democratic endorsement before being elected. “Arlington Democrats are grateful for the leadership of Tannia Talento and Nancy Van Doren on the School Board, particularly during a global pandemic that has profoundly impacted our schools,” Caiazzo said. “These distinguished public servants have worked tirelessly on behalf of all Arlington students, and our school system is nationally recognized due in no small part to their sound stewardship.”
Increased Democratic Margin Despite Fewer Resources
As of Election Day, 126,980 voters cast ballots in Arlington, which constitutes 76.3% of active voters. In comparison, the 2016 presidential race drew 122,033, or 82%, of all registered voters. The 2016 race also drew a significantly larger investment of state and national Democratic party resources in Arlington in comparison to 2020, as reflected by the presence of nine paid field organizers in the county in 2016. By contrast, Arlington’s boots-on-the-ground field activities in 2020 were entirely organized by the all-volunteer Arlington Democrats.
Despite this shift in resources from Arlington to other parts of Virginia, Democratic turnout in Arlington increased in 2020: from nearly 76% of Arlington voters backing Hillary Clinton in 2016 to almost 81% of Arlington voters backing Joe Biden this year. “Arlington Democrats took care of business in Arlington without significant outside support, beating the national overall turnout average by nearly 10% and besting our own 2016 Democratic turnout rate,” Caiazzo noted. “More importantly, our self-sufficiency enabled the state and national Democratic party to focus in-state resources in the Commonwealth’s swing districts, with reinforcements provided by our Beyond Arlington and Blue Families volunteers. It was a true team effort, and every Arlington Democrat volunteer should be proud of the role they played—directly or indirectly—in securing victories across the Commonwealth.”
Record Early Voting, Remarkable Performance by Arlington Election Officials
Leveraging voting reforms passed by the Democratic-led Virginia General Assembly earlier this year and responding to the Arlington Democrats’ call for early voting to minimize public health risks posed by the pandemic, the majority of Arlington voters cast their ballots before Election Day. Arlingtonians took their health and the health of their friends and fellow citizens seriously by voting early: more than 105,000 votes were cast early, or more than 60% of total ballots cast, a dramatic increase compared to 37,832 votes, or 31%, in 2016.
“The Arlington Registrar’s Office did a remarkable job running such a high-volume, high-stakes election so smoothly in the middle of a pandemic,” Caiazzo said. “Arlington Democrats thanks each and every election official who worked at an early voting or Election Day polling location and delivered a safe and positive experience for Arlington voters.”