The map of Arlington County in John Milliken's campaign headquarters is nearly covered with brightly colored pins.

It is all part of a plan. Follow the pins, says Democrat Milliken, and you'll find where he is going to be virtually every morning and night between now and Nov. 4 when he hopes to win a four-year term on the County Board.

Red pins are for meet-the-neighbor coffees at supporters homes; orange, for walks through neigborhoods, shopping centers, Metro stops; blue, for speeches at community centers, and green for precinct meetings and tours.

The only section of the map that is barren is Arlington National Cemetery.

And if it weren't for his hectic 6:30- a.m.-to-midnight campaign schedule, thatis exactly where Milliken might be, riding on the bike paths that wind around the cemetery.

But Milliken thinks nonstop campaigning is the only way to win the race against Simone (Sim) Pace, an independent running with Republican endorsement.

"local elections are won or lost by word of mouth in Arlington," Milliken says. "it's a small enough community both in actual numbers and geography, homogeneous enough that people know each other and they're active.

"(People) see somebody else who has a common interest with them at a meeting or a social affair. They talk about the local election and that's how votes are secured. So I try to get out as often as possible and meet as many people as humanly possible. . . Wherever three or more are gathered, I'm there." Milliken and Pace are seeking the seat being vacated by independent John W. mPurdy, who had the backing of county Democrats during his two four-year terms.

Last weekend, Milliken and his wife Chris met with hundreds of supporters at a buffet-auction fundraiser at an Arlington church. The auction added nearly $3,500 to his $22,000 campaign fund. Milliken hopes to raise $40,000 total, with most of it going on mailings to voters.

Milliken is used to auctions in New York and London, where he bids on U.S. plate blocks and airmail stamps to fill in his mammoth stamp collection. He appeared right at home last weekend, as friends nibbled on fried chicken and browsed through tables full of books.

Near the auction block, other guests bid on more than 70 itemsranging from Redskins tickets to a two-week stay at a Vermont cottage, a lasagna casserole "delivered hot to your door" and babysitting services.

Peggy Fisher, wife of Rep. Joseph L. Fisher (D-Va.), donated some of her watercolors for the auction, while her husband roamed the halls putting in a good word for the 35-year-old Milliken, his executive assistant for four years.

Milliken left Fisher's office two years ago to return to his law practice. Although active for many years in localcivic associations and state Democratic circles, Milliken decided only last spring to seek elective office. His reason, he said, was because he was unhappy with the way the County Board was handling development, particularly in central Arlington.

In the past decade, Arlington has experienced tremendous growth and more is slated along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, where five Metro stops line Wilson Boulevard as it cuts through central Arlington.

Recently, the county has tangled with the National Capital Planning Commission, which has argued strenuously against board approval of highrise buildings in Rosslyn and near the courthouse. The high-rises, the commission contends, will mar the view from the nation's capital.

The development question -- which is really the question of what Arlington is going to look like 10 years from now -- is the main thing that motivates my running," Milliken says. "The decisions that the board is making now and will be making are going to determine the character of the country.

"I think the essentially residential character of central Arlington is threatened, and I believe there are things the County Board can do in shaping and structuring (development) minimize the threat t the neighborhoods. I don't see any strong movement among the present majority to assure that that protection takes place."

Since Republican-backed membes now hold three of the five board seats. the Gop majority will not change regardless of the election. But, says Milliken, while the partisan majority is not at stake, the "development majority" is, contending that retiring member Purdy often cast the decisive vote in favor of development.

Board decisions, Milliken maintains, do not have to be black and white. "There are trade-offs in there and balances you have to strike between the economic advantages of bringing in a succession of high-rise office buildings and the kind of social, aesthetic and emotional advantages of having something with more balance,"Milliken maintains.

Milliken says that he and Pace, whomhe expects to debate about 30 times during the campaign, probably differ most on the development issue -- which includes the rapid conversion of rental units to condominiums.

The most unusual aspect of this campaign is that for the first time in nearly two decades, a Democrat is actually running as a Democrat for the County Board. Traditionally, Democratic candidates have run as independents with the joint endorsement of county Democrates and the Arlingtonians for a Better County (ABC).

Officially a nonpartisan group, the ABC has long counterd many Democrats among its membership, primarily federal wokers barred from participating in partisan politics. Their precinct work on behalf of candidates has been widely credited as the reason for many ABC-Democratic election victories.

But Milliken, a long-time ABC member, does not believe he will lose that valuable help by running as a Democrat.Campaign contributions indicate he has lost few ABC supporters. Many of the 700-plus individuals who have contributed to his campaign come from the ABC rank, and the organization itself is donating $1,000.

"i believe in truth-in-labeling,"Milliken laughs. "I am a Democrat, not an independent."