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2 more Democrats join ranks of Arlington County Board candidates

Candidates to vie in June primary
Many local races will be on the November 2023 ballot in Northern Virginia. (Metro Creative)

The Democratic field for Arlington County Board grew from three to five last week, as two candidates kicked off their bids before the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC).

“I am a well-seasoned community activist,” said former Lyon Park Civic Association president Natalie Roy. “I have the requisite experience and deep community roots to hit the ground running on Day 1.”

“I feel it is my responsibility to give back to the community,” said Tony Weaver, a member of the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission. “Democrats historically have helped improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our community.”

The announcements, which came at the Feb. 1 ACDC meeting, came one month after J.D. Spain Sr., Jonathan Dromgoole and Maureen Coffey announced plans to seek the seats of Democratic incumbents Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey, who are not planning to seek third terms.

Assuming at least four candidates make it through the filing deadline and onto the primary ballot, the Arlington County Board Democratic primary would be the first state-run election in Virginia ever conducted under ranked-choice voting.

In remarks to the party faithful, Roy and Weaver both said they would be responsive to the public, with the latter touting an agenda of housing, economic development and environmental sustainability and the former saying she will focus on constituent services.

“We have big issues in front of us,” said Roy, best known as a local real-estate professional. She also is a former PTA president and member of the county government’s Sports Commission.

Whether the Democratic field is set or will see more new arrivals – “there could be 10 candidates” by the time it’s all over, one contender chuckled – the party will select its two nominees in a June primary.

Dorsey, who like Cristol was first elected eight years ago, followed the announcements with a presentation to Democrats on the complexities of the proposed Missing Middle housing plan.

“If you want to be on the County Board, you’re going to have to love this stuff,” Dorsey said, referring not specifically to housing issues but to getting down in the weeds on policy.

None of the five candidates in the mix for the Democratic nomination has deviated much from the standard-issue progressive playbook used by Northern Virginia candidates these days. A week or so before her announcement, Roy did gain some press interest for proposing that the county government hold a referendum in November on any Missing Middle plan that is adopted this spring.

Independent candidates, plus the Arlington County Republican Committee and Arlington Green Party, have until June to file paperwork to get names on the ballot.