Long-time VA State Senator Chap Petersen has a Democratic primary in the new, deep-blue 37th State Senate district (Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Falls Church). The challenger is Saddam Azlan Salim, “the former Fairfax County Democratic Committee finance vice-chair, current Vice President of Fairfax Young Democrats, an activist in the Asian-American community, and a senior financial management consultant” who is “originally from Bangladesh.” As Salim’s announcement states, he’s running on “common-sense gun control, reproductive rights, better healthcare, affordable housing, clean energy and building on the state’s diversity to create a sustainable economic environment.”
As for Sen. Petersen, he was first elected to the State Senate in 2007, after having served in the House of Delegates from 2002 to 2006. Sen. Petersen was ranked by VAPLAN as the second-least-progressive Senate Democrat in 2022. Petersen’s conservative streak certainly came out during the COVID pandemic, when he teamed up with one of the most far-right Republicans in Virginia, Del. Dave LaRock, in a lawsuit against Gov. Ralph Northam “challenging the commonwealth’s restrictions on businesses and places of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Sen. Petersen also is considered to be relatively conservative when it comes to gun violence prevention measures; for instance, see here for a Fox “New” story on Sen. Petersen’s appearance on “Fox & Friends,” where “Petersen said that he voted to stop the gun-control measure because it needed some amendments he could not overlook.” It will be interesting to see how much traction these issues get during the Democratic primary in coming months…
Saddam Azlan Salim for Senate Campaign Announcement
January 24, 2022
FAIRFAX CITY, VA — Saddam Azlan Salim officially announced his campaign for Virginia’s 37th Senate district with the promise to focus on Virginia’s future by fighting for common-sense gun control, reproductive rights, better healthcare, affordable housing, clean energy and building on the state’s diversity to create a sustainable economic environment.
“Given the recent 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and more mass shootings that took place over the last week, it’s time that the residents of VA-37 had a senator who will fight for core Democratic values down in Richmond,” Salim commented from his campaign Twitter account, @SalimVASenate.
Saddam Azlan Salim is a Bangladeshi-American activist and a graduate of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. A Falls Church resident, he has served as Co-Chair of the Providence District Democratic Committee, the Fairfax County Democrats Finance Vice-Chair, the Vice President of Fairfax Young Democrats and is currently the co-Virginia State Director of South Asians for America. He works as a senior financial consultant.
The 37th district was recently reconfigured from parts of the old 32nd, 34th, 35th, and 37th Senate districts. The district now includes the City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, Vienna, Tysons, Oakton and other parts of Fairfax County. As the state senator representing the old 35th Senate district, Chap Petersen represents 43.9% of the new VA-37 and is also running for the seat. The Democratic primary for VA-37 will take place on Tuesday, June 20.