Zimmerman Easily Retains His County Board Seat

(Tuesday, November 7, 2006 11:11 PM EST)
County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman easily held on to his seat Nov. 7, turning back challenges by Republican Mike McMenamin from the right and Green Party candidate Josh Ruebner from the left.

With all votes except absentee ballots reported by 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Zimmerman had received 39,199 votes, or 65.5 percent, to 17,428 votes (29.1 percent) for McMenamin and 2,944 votes (4.9 percent) for Ruebner.

“It's very gratifying,” Zimmerman said of his election victory, which was by a larger margin than he won by four years ago. “It's the judgment of the voters on performance, which is practical and progressive. They see that the government can solve problems.”

During the campaign, McMenamin attempted to blame Zimmerman and the all-Democrat County Board for excessive spending, while Ruebner held the board responsible for a declining stock of affordable housing in Arlington.

Zimmerman ran a campaign focusing on the overall economic health of the community, and the County Board's efforts to make Arlington a place where a wide range of people could call home.

After the votes were reported, McMenamin - president of the Maywood civic association and a member of the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission - said his campaign in some ways could be called a success.

“We made people aware of where some of their money is being spent and not being spent,” he said.

Last year, Republicans did not field a County Board candidate, and two years ago, the Republican was trounced. McMenamin said Republicans needed to continue to build their presence in county politics.

“You've got to start somewhere,” he said.

Ruebner's campaign marked the first time the Green Party had fielded a candidate in a local Arlington race.

“It's very gratifying that thousands of voters agreed with my critique on the Democrats' pro-gentrification and overdevelopment platform,” Ruebner said.

“The next step is the Green Party is going to meet and have a debrief about the election, and take it from there,” he said.

Zimmerman's seat was the only one of the five County Board seats on the ballot this year. All County Board seats are elected countywide, and board members serve four-year terms.

Incumbents Paul Ferguson and Walter Tejada face voters in 2007.

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