Arlington elects first non-Democrat in 15 years

WASHINGTON — Arlington County, Va.’s board has a non-Democrat as a member for the first time in 15 years.

Independent John Vihstadt, 61, defeated Democrat Alan Howze, 39, and two other independent challengers, Janet Murphy and Stephen Holbrook in a special election.

Vihstadt captured 56.99 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results.

The Columbia Pike streetcar was a major issue for the two who are longtime civic activists.

Howze supported it, while Vihstadt opposed it.

“People are yearning for a little balance and a fresh perspective after decades of one-party rule,” Vihstadt told WTOP.

Vihstadt will fill the seat vacated when Chris Zimmerman stepped down in December. His term will end Dec. 31.

The county says Vihstadt’s swearing-in ceremony has not yet been scheduled. He will be sworn in after the election results are certified later this week.

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