Independent wins special election in Arlington

Natural Bridge Zoo-Complaint (Image 1)
Natural Bridge Zoo-Complaint (Image 1)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) – For the first time since 1999, a non-Democrat will serve on the Arlington County Board.

Independent candidate John Vihstadt (VEYE’-stat) defeated Democrat Alan Howze in a special election Tuesday to replace Chris Zimmerman, who stepped down earlier this year.

Vihstadt, who had endorsements from the Republican and Green parties, won 57 percent of the vote, compared to 41 percent for Howze.

Vihstadt opposes a proposed $300 million streetcar project on Columbia Pike that was a major issue in the election. Proponents say the streetcar will spur economic development, while opponents prefer cheaper alternatives like expanded bus service.

The last non-Democrat to win election to Arlington’s five-member governing body was Republican Mike Lane, who also won a special election.

County officials say Vihstadt will be sworn in after results are certified.

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