PRESS RELEASE: Sun Gazette Disses Independent Candidates

October 11, 2021.

I’m running as an Independent for Arlington County Board on November 2, and I’m cynical about why the Sun Gazette has endorsed my opponent, Takis Karantonis, despite his lackluster record on the Board.

In an October 7 editorial, Sun Gazette editor Scott McCaffrey acknowledged that all three independent candidates had raised serious questions about the direction of County Board under Takis’ leadership. But since Scott presumes that none of the independents can beat the incumbent, he gets the nod.

McCaffrey opined:

“We have high hopes that TAKIS KARANTONIS will break out of his shell once he garners a full term, and be a common-sense leader for the community, not just for the staff, the interest groups and his fellow board members.”

Which begs the question, If Takis couldn’t muster independent leadership before the election, why should he be motivated to do so afterwards?

Scott McCaffrey portrays himself as politically savvy. Yet he studiously ignores one of the principal tenets of American voting behavior–namely that uninformed voters, who represent most of the electorate, invariably vote for the perceived winner.

Instead of seeking to inform these voters about the candidates, their platforms and their records–which would enable them to elect someone else–McCaffrey constantly harps on non-Democrats’ supposed unelectability, thereby guaranteeing their defeat.

In other contexts, McCaffrey’s reasoning would be perceived as a self fulfilling prophecy. But in Arlington County it passes for political wisdom. If you are as concerned as me about the Sun Gazette’s jaded endorsement policy, then vote Independent. Vote Clement.

When elected I am going to exercise independent judgment, just as I did when I served on the Transportation Commission between 2018 and 2021. I will also:

  • Seek immediate tax relief for residents and businesses.
  • Say YES to affordable housing and NO to “Missing Middle” up-zoning.
  • Save our parks, streams and tree canopy and stop clear-cutting wooded areas on public property.
  • Say YES to real social justice reforms and NO to symbolic gestures.

As a 17-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist and former member of the Transportation Commission, I have both the experience andindependence to promote these reforms.
If you share my agenda, then:

  • Spread the word about my candidacy.
  • Donate to my campaign.
  • Help make the “Arlington Way” more than an empty phrase.
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