Photo: Steve Thurston
In a race that may have been closer than James Lander wanted to see, he won the Arlington Democratic Party endorsement for school board. The incumbent Arlington Public Schools board member bested Barbara Kanninen by just 47 votes, 1144 to 1097. The vote was open to registered Democrats only.
“We will continue to work,” Lander said after learning of the win Saturday evening. “We haven’t won this thing. We still have November.”
That point may not matter, however, since no other candidates have stepped forward in the race, yet. Challengers have until June 11 to place their names in the race.
The “firehouse” caucus took place over two days, May 9 and 11. Virginia law prohibits school boards from having party affiliations, so the vote was not a primary. However, in order to enter the Democratic caucus, a candidate must agree not to run in the general election or endorse a candidate outside the Democratic Party in the general election. All current members of the school board won the Democrat endorsement before being elected to the board.
“I am looking forward to getting my life back in order,” Kanninen said. She said she was happy to run and had a good time in the campaign.
“I have, as a parent, wanted to see competition” in the school board races, Kanninen said. “I think competition is good.”