Arlington City Council election preview: District 5

Posted Monday, Apr. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Five-term incumbent Lana Wolff and University of Texas at Arlington graduate student Christopher McCain are vying for the chance to represent east central Arlington on the City Council for the next two years.

The two were also opponents in 2011, with McCain drawing 3.6 percent of the vote and Wolff eventually prevailing over Chris Hightower in a tightly contested runoff.

As with other municipal races in the city, transportation is a hot topic in the District 5 race. It dominated a candidate forum last week where McCain, 22, said more public transit options are needed, especially near UT Arlington.

Connecting to the regional rail network may be one option to addressing the city’s infrastructure and congestion problems, Wolff, 66, said. An estimated 66 percent of Arlington’s workforce commutes to jobs outside the city.

“We need to continually work on opportunities with connectivity to the rail. We know that is the future,” she said.

McCain, who is pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice and political science, said he is in the process of transferring into an officer program in the Army Reserve.

“I am dedicated to our city, educated about the issues and would like to create the opportunity for prosperity amongst our citizens,” he said.

He listed his priorities as more economic development, keeping taxes low and finding alternate ways to generate revenue for the city.

“I believe in ‘leadership from the field,’” he said.

Wolff, who has served on the council since 2003 and has been influential in the redevelopment of downtown, said implementing plans to help revitalize the aging New York and East Abram corridors remains a priority.

She also pointed to the new neighborhood plan for the Heart of Arlington Neighborhood Association as another kind of initiative that is vital to keeping the city strong.

“We want to make sure our neighborhoods drive our economic development,” she said.

Campaign spending has been light in the District 5 race, according to finance reports filed with the city secretary.

Wolff had $1,699.06 on hand as of Dec. 31, along with $1,000 in outstanding loans. She had spent $250 as of April 11, the date of the most recent filing.

McCain reported no contributions and no expenditures in his April 11 filing.

Early voting starts Monday and runs through May 7. Election day is May 11.

Patrick M. Walker, 682-232-4674 Twitter: @patrickmwalker1

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