Arlington Dems endorses school board candidates by mail-in caucus

Virginia

More than 5,700 ballots were cast - thousands more than were cast in the 2019 in-person school board caucus.

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — The Arlington County Democrat Committee has endorsed two people vying for Arlington School Board seats in the general election this November. 

Education policy specialist and former teacher Cristina Diaz-Torres and community activist and former business executive David Priddy were nominated through a mail-in endorsement caucus to protect voters from contracting COVID-19.

More than 5,700 ballots were cast – thousands more than were cast in the 2019 in-person school board caucus. The effort required outreach to 70 community organizations across the county, phone banks to Hispanic voters and voters living in affordable housing units, and text banks to more than 3,000 voters.

This was also the first year in the committee’s history that the ballot request form and caucus promotional materials were translated to Spanish. 

“There were a lot of technical issues that happened along the way; a lot of voters who didn’t receive their ballots the first time and had to request additional ballots,” Diaz-Torres said. “I applaud the Arlington Dems for flexing and pivoting quickly to try to resolve some of those issues.” 

Diaz-Torres calls the Democratic endorsement a “value signal” to voters. “We agree with principles like equity and ensuring that all kids are able to succeed and that they have the right to succeed. We believe in collaboration and everyone having a stake at the table. These are important things that being on the sample ballot shows the voters that we have met the criteria established by the Arlington Dems.”

Between now and November, Diaz-Torres and Priddy will have to campaign online, and thanks to their endorsements, Arlington Dems has made them a united front of sorts. Priddy says in a “normal election,” he and Diaz-Torres would probably know each other a lot more than they do now. “Because of the whole Zoom factor and the fact that we can’t get together we don’t really know each other that well so it’s going to be fun for us to understand and dig into the issues with each other so we can see where we agree and where we do disagree so we can move forward together,” he said. 

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