Extensive Campaign Work Across the Commonwealth Helps Flip the General Assembly Blue for First Time in 26 Years
ARLINGTON, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019—The Arlington County Democratic Committee (Arlington Dems) elected Democrats in all 14 Arlington elections on Tuesday, including four contested races, while simultaneously playing an oversized role statewide in the historic flip of both houses of the General Assembly.
In the contested races, Arlington returned Janet Howell to the District 32 state Senate seat, Alfonso Lopez to the House of Delegates District 49 post, and Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey to the Arlington County Board.
Unopposed Democratic victors in Arlington included: State Sens. Adam Ebbin (30th) and Barbara Favola (31st); Dels. Mark Levine (45th); Patrick Hope (47th); and Rip Sullivan (48th); Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti; Sheriff Beth Arthur; Revenue Commissioner Ingrid Morroy; Treasurer Carla de la Pava; and School Board Member Reid Goldstein.
“Arlington Democrats congratulate all 14 Democrats on their victories in Arlington today,” Arlington Dems Chair Jill Caiazzo said. “We’re confident they will continue to advance progressive policies that will lead to a more prosperous, sustainable and just county and commonwealth for all.”
With 10 of 14 races on the Arlington ballot uncontested, Arlington Dems were able to deploy significant volunteer power across the state in the quest to restore Democratic majority control in state government for the first time in 26 years.
Hundreds of Arlington volunteers canvassed, called, texted, and wrote to voters as far away as Virginia Beach in an effort to flip the legislature blue. All told, Arlington Dems provided campaign support to 26 candidates outside of Arlington, 16 of whom were victorious Tuesday at 10 p.m. EST. Four races remained too close to call.
“The extensive and exhaustive volunteer efforts statewide of Arlington’s Democratic volunteers, including the Arlington Young Democrats, were nothing short of remarkable,” Caiazzo said. “Arlingtonians demonstrated that they have a clear vision of where Virginia should be headed—and it’s not in the direction that the extreme Trump-GOP is taking the country. We’re eager for the accomplishments that this new Democratic legislative majority will achieve.”
“Heading into the critical 2020 presidential race, we’re especially excited about the tremendous grassroots enthusiasm that fueled Democratic victories statewide. This historic victory belongs to the grassroots activists as much as it belongs to the Democratic Party,” Caiazzo continued. “Arlington Dems thank them all, including the Arlington branch of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Arlington Action Group, Indivisible Arlington, Network NoVA, Our Revolution Arlington, Virginia Grassroots Coalition, and We of Action. We look forward to working with them, as well as our strategic partner, the D.C. Democratic Party, to return a Democrat to the White House next year.”
Republicans held razor-thin margins in both houses heading into this election, and the commonwealth was the only state in the country in which a Democratic sweep was possible. In addition to likely making reforms on issues ranging from gun safety to women’s, voter, and reproductive rights, the sweeping Democratic victory is regarded as further repudiation of Trump and the Republican Party, and a bellwether for Democrats heading into the 2020 presidential election.
Voter turnout was considerably stronger in the county Tuesday than in 2011, the most-recent election with no national or statewide races. In Arlington, 56,250 voters cast ballots Tuesday, which constitutes 36.9% of active voters. In comparison, the 2011 general election, which featured the same races, drew 35,356 voters, or 26% of then-active voters. Arlingtonians took full advantage of absentee voting in this election: slightly more than 5,100 votes were cast absentee, or about 9% of total ballots cast, compared to 2,248, or 6%, in 2011.