State Senate-District 34: J.C. “Chap” Petersen (D)

State Senate-District 34: J.C. “Chap” Petersen (D)

Question and answer

Virginia State Senate Candidate Questionnaires

* = Incumbent

District 30

http://www.connecti…">Adam P. Ebbin* (D)

J. Ron Fisher (I), no response received

District 31

http://www.connecti…">Barbara A. Favola* (D)

http://www.connecti…">George V. Forakis (R)

District 32

http://www.connecti…">Janet D. Howell* (D)

District 33

Stephen B. Hollingshead (R), no response received

http://www.connecti…">Jennifer T. Wexton* (D)

District 34

http://www.connecti…">J.C. "Chap" Petersen* (D)

District 35

http://www.connecti…">Richard L. "Dick" Saslaw* (D)

http://www.connecti…">Terry W. Modglin (I)

District 36

http://www.connecti…">Gerald M. Foreman (R)

http://www.connecti…">Scott A. Surovell* (D)

District 37

http://www.connecti…">David M. Bergman (R)

http://www.connecti…">David W. Marsden* (D)

District 39

http://www.connecti…">George Lincoln Barker* (D)

http://www.connecti…">Joseph R. Murray (R)

Incumbent, unopposed

Town of residence: Fairfax City

Age: 47

Family: Married to Sharon Kim Petersen. Four children: Eva Emmeline (17), Mary Walton (13), Thomas Henry (10) and Ida Grace (4).

Education: B.A., Williams College. J.D., University of Virginia.

Offices held, dates: Fairfax City Council (1998-2002), Virginia House of Delegates (2002-2006), Virginia Senate (2008-present).

Occupation and relevant experience: Practicing attorney since 1994. Owned local law firm since 2005.

Community involvement: Served in elected office since 1998. Also active as Sunday school teacher at Truro Anglican Church.


Email address:

Twitter handle: @chappetersen

Name three favorite endorsements: Any three voters in Fairfax.


What is one issue that defines your call to serve, why does it matter, and how will you tackle it?

In 2015, I sponsored the “Good Samaritan” immunity legislation, SB 892, which provides legal protection to young people who report an overdose or alcohol poisoning. It passed the Assembly and is now law. It will save lives. It also teaches our young citizens in Virginia that no matter the circumstances — always do the right thing.

What distinguishes you from your opponent(s) and why should voters choose you?

Unfortunately, I have no opponent.

Given the political makeup of the state legislature, what examples from your own experience suggests you can successfully bridge the intense partisan differences there?

I worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass major legislation, SB 985 in 2015, which set a standard on protecting personal liberty and curtailing government surveillance. (Sadly, it was vetoed by the Governor). I enjoy meeting people with different viewpoints and have no problem working with them.

In order, list your top 5 specific legislative priorities.

Promoting economic growth in Virginia, modernizing our tax system, advocating for commuters, keeping college affordable and protecting our natural spaces.

How has your district changed in the last 10 years? What caused those changes?

Geographically, the 34th district was shifted west in 2011 and now includes 50,000 residents in Chantilly and Centreville.

Will you support legislation restricting high interest lending including car title loans?


Will you support funding for Fostering Connections which would result in an influx of federal funding for foster children aging out of foster care?

Need to know more details. I’m not familiar with this program.

Do you support expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and if so, what would you do to make that happen?

Yes. I have voted for Medicaid expansion multiple times, most recently through the “Marketplace Virginia” project which used private insurers to certify eligible recipients and receive the Federal funds. It makes no sense to not use the Federal funds earmarked for Virginia’s working poor.