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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Arlington County Board Democratic Primary {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The five-member County Board is Arlington’s governing body. Board members, elected at large (that is, to represent the whole county rather than specific districts), serve staggered four-year terms. For more information on the County Board, visit is an open primary state, meaning that voters do not register by political party. Any registered voter is eligible to vote in any primary election. However, if both the Democratic and Republican parties hold primaries on the same day, voters must choose which party ballot they wish to vote.Arlington County will be using ranked choice voting for this primary election. For more information on ranked choice voting, visit

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon. To rank a candidate, click the "rank" button.

Ranked Candidates


All Candidates

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    James A. DeVita

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    Julie E. Farnam

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    Tenley D. Peterson

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    Natalie U. Roy

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    Julius D. "JD" Spain, Sr.

Biographical Information

What do you think are the three most pressing issues facing Arlington County?

What can the County do to meet its housing needs, both in terms of inventory and affordability? What additional zoning changes, if any, would you support?

What role should the County Board play in ensuring that elections held in Arlington are safe, secure, and accessible to all voters?

Is the County making appropriate progress on its sustainability, energy, and resilience goals? What, if anything, would you like to see done differently?

If elected, what changes (if any) will you pursue to the County's policing and criminal justice systems?

Campaign Email
Campaign Phone 703-351-5015
Campaign Twitter Handle @devitarlcty
Repealing the Missing Middle-There are better solutions Improving the Schools- Reduce class sizes, no trailers Create more electric vehicle charging stations and bike lanes
Public\private partnerships like Crystal House Convert vacant office space to affordable housing Set asides for low and middle income people in the Ballston, Langston Boulevard and Columbia Pike corridors
Provide monitors
Convert existing metrobuses to electric vehicles
Fill all the vacancies in the Police Department and Sheriff's Office
First, the County must address the drugs in our community and our schools. I am the mother to two young daughters and someday they will go to Wakefield High. I am concerned about the overdoses we've seen and the related crimes that come with drugs in our community. Second, we need address our housing issues in a manner that actually achieves more affordability and equity. The County's approach thus far misses the mark. Third, we must improve the way we communicate with the community. There is a lack of trust in our County Board, largely due to the lack of transparency and disingenuous efforts to engage with the community. More broadly, the overarching issue within Arlington is our overall lack of vision and coordinated planning.
Though I do not support blanket rezoning, I care deeply about equity and affordability in housing. To achieve this, I'd like us to: * Incentivize keeping a stock of older homes. * Ensure we are building more homes that will be available for sale, not rent. * Concentrate higher density along the major corridors within Arlington. * Create (or improve existing) down payment assistance programs. * Assist with low-interest loans. * Implement a program like the DC Black Homeownership Strike Force. * Expand the use of ADUs. * Allow micro-apartments (SROs). * Convert more vacant office space into housing.
Generally, I think the County does a relatively good job making sure elections are safe, secure, and accessible. Things the County could do to make it more helpful for voters include: having voting-related materials in more languages, communicating accommodations that are available to people with disabilities and the elderly, and provide more voter registration resources.
The power grid in parts of Arlington, particularly in south Arlington, is old and needs updating. Updating the power grid will reduce carbon emissions. With the EHO/MMH initiative, there is no requirement for developers to make updates to infrastructure (power grids, pipes, etc.) as there is with new office or apartment buildings. All new buildings—residential and commercial—should be mandated to make upgrades to county infrastructure, including the power grid, if they will be increasing the burden on the infrastructure. Arlington must also collaborate with nearby communities, energy companies, and environmental organizations to identify and implement best practices. Both of these need to be addressed in future Community Energy Plans.
Safety in our community must be a combination of prevention, mitigation, and enforcement. It is always more cost effective and better in the long term to address the underlying issues that are causing the crime. But we also need to support our police force. I would: * Increase starting pay for police officers. * Establish a loan buyback program for officers. * Coordinate with other jurisdictions to address crime issues impacting us all. * Create more youth programming. * Expand drug treatment and mental health services. * Make available parenting classes for parents of teens.
Campaign Email
Campaign Phone 703-594-7131
Campaign Twitter Handle @tenleyforarl
HOUSING: We need more accessible and affordable housing. I supported Expanded Housing Options. I also believe that we get more housing if we focus on our historic success with transit-oriented smart growth. We need density near the metro with affordable units on site, and we need more family-sized units in high rises. CLIMATE CHANGE: We must be leaders in sustainability, with more green roofs, solar panels, EV charging, investment in public transit, and protected bike lanes. SCHOOLS: We must invest in keeping our schools strong. We need to uphold our revenue sharing agreement, find efficiencies between the county and school budgets, and support youth after school with programs at nature centers, libraries, and community centers.
Arlington needs more housing. We must continue to build more density along our public transit corridors. As a Planning Commissioner, I have supported increased density, Expanded Housing Options, and affordable units being provided on site. We also need more family-sized units in highrises so that families can take advantage of public transit and walkable neighborhoods. "Single stairway" legislation is one way to address this. I would also like to explore public-private partnerships to provide workforce housing to Arlington public safety employees and teachers.
As a member of the Arlington County Board, I would continue Arlington’s efforts to offer in-person, absentee, and mail-in voting, and to publicize all voting options. It is essential that we continue to support efforts to expand voting opportunities across our community. I would also support Arlington's continued efforts to offer ranked choice voting and expand our education efforts to communicate how it works. Finally, I would work with my colleagues to ensure there are poll worker(s) at every in-person voting location and increase the number of hours and locations that early voting sites are open.
Our Community Energy Plan is essential in shaping the future of the county. As we prepare to update the CEP in 2025, I look forward to collaborating with stakeholders to advance Arlington’s position as a leader on sustainability. Staff need to create toolkits to show developers how their site plans could better support our energy goals. I would strengthen our Green Building Incentive Program. I would also like to incentivize more EV-ready parking in new building designs and support existing buildings in providing EV parking. Finally, the county needs more family-sized units in our residential highrises so families have that housing type as an option, since living in a highrise has significant sustainability benefits.
There are many opportunities to look at public safety through a public health lens, and I have been a supporter of our Crisis Intervention Center and our Mobile Outreach Support Team Van. Restorative justice reforms are necessary, and I particularly support programs directed at our youth like the Center for Youth and Family Advocacy. The recently established police oversight boards play an important liaison role between the community and our police. I would also invest in our public safety officers and work to keep public safety positions well-paid and filled to promote good morale. This will attract good talent and encourage officers to stay in their jobs so they can build long-term positive relationships with our residents.
My top priorities include: Conducting robust and public outreach efforts to develop meaningful community-supported solutions that increase ADA-accessible and affordable housing and promote diversity. Not the County’s current developer and investor-driven private program that is taking us in the wrong direction. Old buildings and homes, many with tons of character, should be seen as opportunities, not as instant teardowns. We are losing our history; Address the growing threat of global warming on the local level.I have decades of professional environmental experience and a deep lifelong commitment to leaving our kids and grandkids a world worth living in; and aggressively addressing the County’s alarming commercial office space vacancy rate.
If we want to build deeply affordable and missing-middle housing, we must promote the kind of development proposed for the Goodwill site and require developers to build more 3- 3-bedroo affordable units in multi-unit high rises. We need comprehensive planning that has community support. To increase housing opportunities without destroying our hard-fought environmental victories, we should preserve transit-oriented-development (TOD), insist on open space in large developments, and not allow developers to buy their way out of lot coverage & community requirements. We need to explore establishing non-profit investment trusts & coops, that can buy tear-downs & older multi-family units and upgrade them to sell to middle and low-income residents.
The County needs to continue to focus on improving and expanding its voter education efforts. Due to the recent adoption of Ranked Choice Voicing, many voters were confused during the Democratic Primary of 2023. There was a lack of clarity about how the system worked for 2 open positions in the County Board race. There are still serious questions coming from community members in 2024 about one open seat. it is a question I get often. Arlington needs to ensure continued robust public awareness and education efforts county-wide. And of course, the County Board should continue to play an important oversight role over the process to ensure our voting system is safe and secure.
I began my career with the Clean Water Action Project and the League of Conservation Voters, and later served as the Executive Director of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable and Clean Water Network. My husband still works 24/7 on climate change issues on Capitol Hill. Are we moving forward, yes. Can we do much more? Definitely. Areas I would focus on include, ensuring all county `leets are converted from gas to electric, improving and expanding the County’s reduce, recycling,and compost efforts including bringing back curbside glass recycling, exploring greater protections for our precious tree canopy, adopting lot coverage reform, improving stormwater management efforts, and improving our public transit.
Work hard to ensure we have the requisite funding for our public safety essential workers. This critical support means competitive salaries and benefits, adequate training, and the necessary mental and physical health services needed. It is also critical we explore housing assistance. This baseline support for our public safety workers is critical as are important criminal justice reforms to ensure we all have a safe place to live.
Campaign Email
Campaign Phone 800-393-0438
Campaign Twitter Handle @jdforarlington
We must prioritize economic security for everyone by encouraging the creation of high-paying jobs, supporting small businesses, ensuring access to attainable housing as a fundamental human right, and establishing a fair and equitable tax system. Public safety and health must be prioritized by implementing policies and planning initiatives to improve our public health infrastructure, expand access to healthcare services, and address the underlying social determinants of health. Advocating for increased mental health support and substance use education across county agencies is crucial, especially in our schools. Environmental sustainability, in light of the challenges posed by climate change, is a top issue, needs immediate attention.
Some ways to address the issue of affordable housing development include increasing funding for such projects and related programs, working collaboratively with homebuilders, local businesses, other jurisdictions, and residents to achieve the housing goals set out in various area plans, converting excess office space into housing, and enabling community land trusts, churches, and other nonprofits to build affordable housing in residential neighborhoods. Additionally, requiring developers who seek to exceed the number of homes allowed under land use policies to include affordable housing in their projects can also ensure that affordable housing remains a priority in the community.
It is crucial to ensure the security of voting machines, implement procedures to prevent tampering or hacking, and provide comprehensive training for election workers on how to handle potential threats. Allocating the necessary funding and resources to support election security measures, including investing in updated technology, cybersecurity protocols, and training programs for election staff, is essential to conducting elections in a secure environment. Prioritizing accessibility by making elections accessible to all voters, including those with disabilities or limited English proficiency, is a key aspect. This can involve providing information in multiple languages, offering assistance at polling places
The County Government's efforts towards sustainability are commendable. It’s a fantastic achievement to have made a 250% increase in climate action funding and to be using 100% renewable energy as of 2023, and yet, there is still room for I support the Arlington County Community Energy Plan (CEP) and Clean Energy Plan Implementation Roadmap. To further strengthen the CEP, I recommend electrifying as much as possible and updating the plan with the latest data. I believe in working together with other cities to achieve our common goals. I endorse the Blueprint for Better Transportation in Northern Virginia and am committed to prioritizing transit-oriented development and making sustainable transit options more feasible for all Arlingtonians.
To build trust between police and the community, we must support 21st century policing strategies. Additionally, we can help non-violent offenders by providing alternatives to incarceration such as diversion programs, mental health courts, and drug treatment programs. Investing in rehabilitation programs can reduce recidivism rates and promote successful reentry into society. Victims of crimes need better support services that include access to counseling, legal assistance, and other resources to help them cope with the impact of crime and navigate the criminal justice process. To ensure that any changes made are effective, it's crucial to consider the unique needs and priorities of the county, and seek input from key stakeholders.