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A Spain-vs.-Roy showdown is the most likely election scenario

Peterson has an outside shot at victory, while DeVita and Farnam have no route

Given where things stand now, it looks like it could be a Natalie Roy/J.D. Spain Sr. showdown as Arlington’s ranked-choice-voting process plays out this week in the Democratic primary for Arlington County Board.

First-round results, as tallied by local election officials and reported by the Virginia Department of Elections, currently are:

• Spain: 6,337 votes (32%).

• Roy: 5,621 votes (28%).

• Tenley Peterson: 4,646 votes (24%).

• James DeVita: 1,895 votes (10%).

• Julie Farnam: 1,238 votes (6%).

On Friday [6/21], once provisional ballots and the last mail ballots are accepted, the ranked-choice process will begin. Given that it is all done by computer, preliminary results should be available almost immediately.

Given the current vote totals, it’s virtually guaranteed that first Farnam and then DeVita will be eliminated. Voters for those two who listed second (and potentially) third choices on the ballots will have their votes reallocated as voters directed.

It then seems likely that Peterson will be eliminated, unless she can pick up enough votes from Farnam and DeVita voters to surpass Roy. If Peterson is eliminated, those who voted for her and listed second choices as either Roy or Spain will have those votes moved over to those candidates, and whichever of those two ends up with the most wins the primary.

It’s all guesswork until the computer starts spitting out results Friday, but given the way things stand now, and the likely scenario of how it will play out, Spain seems the most likely to emerge the victor and move on to the general election. But Roy has a route to victory, as well – and Peterson can’t be entirely ruled out.