Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola said Wednesday that she made a mistake when she authorized a poll that contained a question calling her opponent in the Democratic primary for the state Senate a Republican. She said she did not know about the wording of the question.
Favola said that she has asked her pollster to stop calling Jaime Areizaga-Soto a Republican for the four remaining days of the poll. Favola and Areizaga-Soto are vying to replace retiring Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington).
Favola said the people being polled are being told that some of the information in the poll was not accurate.
“It may be an exaggeration or not fully right,’’ Favola said. “It is what it is.”
Favola said Areizaga-Soto also has implied that Favola is a Republican by superimposing Favola’s photo with those of Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R); all three received campaign contributions from the same donor.
Areizaga-Soto said he was disappointed by Favola’s “dishonest attacks.”
“Elections are about choices. Democrats in the 31st district deserve to know the facts so they can make an educated choice,’’ Areizaga-Soto said. “My campaign has been tough – we’ve pointed out some uncomfortable facts about who funds my opponent – but I have been and will always be honest.”
Areizaga-Soto has sent three mailers that show Favola took campaign contributions from a top Republican donor and a developer, even though the Arlington County Board has a self-imposed policy preventing its members from accepting contributions from developers in board races.
Republicans are in a fierce battle for control of the Senate, where Democrats hold a fragile 22 to 18 majority.
The 31st district, which includes parts of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun counties, is Democratic-leaning. The winner of the August primary will face Republican Caren Merrick in November.
This post has been updated since it was first published.