Home 2016 elections GGW Endorses Erik Gutshall for Arlington County Board; Gutshall’s Latest Mailer Hits...

GGW Endorses Erik Gutshall for Arlington County Board; Gutshall’s Latest Mailer Hits Libby Garvey on “4AM wake-up Call”


The June 14th Democratic primary for Arlington County Board is just 2 1/2 weeks away, and the tempo of endorsements, mailers, etc. is increasing. Yesterday, for instance, the smart growth website Greater Greater Washington (GGW) strongly endorsed Erik Gutshall “in his efforts to unseat incumbent Libby Garvey.” GGW had good things to say about Gutshall — having a “forward-looking” vision for Arlington (unlike Garvey), on housing affordability and transportation — but the gist of the endorsement was a loooong explanation for “Why you should not vote for Garvey.” I encourage everyone to read the entire thing, as it’s all spot-on, but here are a few highlights (bolding added by me for emphasis), with my comments.

  • Garvey is “surprisingly poorly versed on policy issues and has not built consensus toward solutions.” (I’ve seen this since the first time I interviewed her, back in 2005, and also when I interviewed her in 2011 — she simply has no understanding or interest in most issues, also apparently no core beliefs. Whatever else you want to say about her ally, Republican John Vihstadt, I don’t think anyone denies that he’s smart, on top of the issues, well-prepared, etc. Garvey? Not so much.)
  • On numerous issues, “[Garvey’s] statements worked as political sound bites but were logically nonsensical.” (GGW cites Garvey’s continued nonsense about what she erroneously refers to as “Bus Rapid Transit,” a phrase she occasionally replaces with the less-inaccurate “enhanced bus” or whatever. To me, Garvey’s lack of understanding regarding what “BRT” is and is not indicates either carelessness, lack of rigor, intellectual dishonesty, cluelessness or all the aforementioned. None of those qualities, of course, are what we want in a County Board member.)
  • Instead of offering real transportation solutions, GGW slams Garvey for claiming that “there’s a magic transit solution out there which only they have the courage to implement.” (Of course, 1 1/2 years after completing their work to kill the streetcar, Garvey et al have not delivered the “magic transit solution” she had promised would be a cheaper, quicker alternative to the streetcar. Shocker, eh?)
  • Finally, GGW hits Garvey for “votes…against funding affordable housing are troubling,” part of a “dangerous trend in Arlington of affluent neighborhoods turning against funding for projects, whether transit, housing, or others, in less-wealthy south Arlington.” (That one speaks for itself.)

GGW’s conclusion is the same as mine and many other Arlington Democrats – Del. Rip Sullivan, Del. Alfonso Lopez, Sen. Adam Ebbin, Former Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, School Board member Reid Goldstein, Clerk of the Court and former County Board Chair Paul Ferguson, and many more, as well as the Arlington Education Association PAC: the clear pick for Arlington Democrats on June 14 is Erik Gutshall. (Now, if only hordes of Republicans don’t turn out for the Democratic primary to vote for their pal Libby Garvey…)

With that, here’s Gutshall’s latest mailer, which charges that Libby Garvey has made “rash suggestions to send kids to school as early as 5AM, ending the day for others as late as 11PM,” as the school overcrowding “crisis moves into its sixth year.”

  • Del. Rip Sullivan weighs in:

    As a Member of the General Assembly, I understand the importance of leaders who are able look past short-term interests and focus on a community’s long-term success.

    That’s why I have proudly endorsed Erik Gutshall for Arlington County Board, and why I encourage you to cast your vote for him in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday June 14th.

    Erik has the civic and business leadership experience to ensure Arlington’s long-term prosperity, sustainability, and success. His lengthy and impressive resume includes service on Arlington’s Planning Commission, Transportation Commission, and he also served as president of his civic association. In addition to his civic service, he is also a successful business owner.

    Erik’s commitment to Arlington has earned him endorsements by my colleagues in the General Assembly–Delegate Alfonso Lopez and Senator Adam Ebbin–as well as many other Arlington leaders including County Clerk Paul Ferguson, former County Board member Mary Hynes, County Board Vice Chair Jay Fisette, and others.

    I hope you will cast your vote for Erik Gutshall on June 14th. You might be eligible to vote absentee if you cannot make it to the polls on June 14th.

  • Meanwhile, Republican John Vihstadt just sent out an email urging his (largely Republican and Independent) supporters to vote for ” my ally” Libby Garvey. Ugh.

  • Goodbye to Gutless

    A large turnout is good news for Libby. And she’s getting a nice new influx of cash to help get out the vote efforts.

    Too bad ACDC insiders.

    • Greater Greater Washington and the Arlington Education Association are now “ACDC insiders?” Alrighty.

      • GBTG

        GGW is still pissed that Garvey helped killed the streetcar. Vhidstat’s victory was a clear referendum that the voters did not trust the CB’s platitudes about the streetcar and their overall general arrogance. The ACDC machine is behind Guthall, because Garvey dared to step off the reservation, which accounts for all of his endorsements.

        If Garvey wins this primary in a landslide, Fissette better watch his back as he will get primaried.

  • O.C.

    This here is a de-facto special election. It’s Arlington Republicans who turn out for those, not Democrats. Make no mistake, we’re making tons and tons of progress behind the scenes in Libby’s strongholds. The Vihstadt mailing list has been an enormous help; his letter of support seals the deal when part of the voter outreach.

    About the middle of next week, Libby will roll out Patrick Hope’s full-throated endorsement (to join Christian of course). Patrick wants to be able to walk the halls of Richmond in peace, and he can’t do that unless John tells the General Assembly them that Patrick was a key help to Libby in this race. Patrick’s legislative ideas are dead on arrival without John’s stamp of approval. And Hope needs a record of accomplishments when he runs for Beyer’s seat once Beyer heads back to Richmond.

    The ACDC machine can’t generate the numbers, their chili cook-offs notwithstanding LOL. With Libby supporter Noah Simon joining Beyer’s staff, expect Libby to follow up on the Hope (and Dorsey) endorsements next week with a final week one-two of Don Beyer AND the WASHINGTON POST.

    Libby has this in the bag. It was pretty stupid of people like you, GGW, and the machine to think there was ever a chance Libby could be beaten.

  • From the Gutshall campaign:

    Lander Endorses Gutshall for Arlington County Board

    Endorsement is second sitting School Board Member for Gutshall, none for Garvey

    Arlington, VA– Today, Arlington School Board Member, and immediate past chair, James Lander endorsed Erik Gutshall for the Arlington County Board.

    From schools to transportation, South Arlington has long been overlooked,” said Lander. “Erik Gutshall is the leader we need to work collaboratively with the School Board, parents, and neighbors to find sustainable solutions to ensure our children continue to earn a world-class education.”

    Lander continued, “Simply put, Arlington works best when Arlington works together. As a small business owner, civic association president, and appointed commissioner, Erik has the experience and know-how to move Arlington forward. I am proud to stand with him and current and former School Board members School Board members Reid Goldstein, Richard Barton, Ed Fendley, Elaine Furlow, Margaret Lampe and Michael Timpane in this campaign and into the future.”

    “James has long been a leader in our community,” said Gutshall. “As the School Board Chair who championed the Community Facilities Study, he understands that true community engagement isn’t a rubber-stamping exercise. I’Ve been committed to honest civic engagement and transparency for years, and as a County Board member I pledge to work together with leaders like James and all Arlingtonians to make our community an even better place to live, work, learn and raise a family.”

    Notably, Lander served together with Garvey for three years on the School Board, including the 2011-2012 school year when she chaired the Board. Although she served on the School Board for 15 years, Libby Garvey has not earned a single endorsement from a current School Board Member. Gutshall has now earned two. Lander’s endorsement comes after the Arlington Education Association’s political arm endorsed Gutshall, where President Gerry Collins said “”Erik Gutshall approaches decision-making as a consensus-builder, with an eye to transparency and engagement all along the way. We support his view of the schools as both institutions of opportunity for our students as well as assets for community activities and events, and are encouraged by his support for school funding.”