State Senate-District 37: Dave Marsden (D)

State Senate-District 37: Dave Marsden (D)

Question and answer

Virginia State Senate Candidate Questionnaires

* = Incumbent

District 30

Adam P. Ebbin* (D)

J. Ron Fisher (I), no response received

District 31

Barbara A. Favola* (D)

George V. Forakis (R)

District 32

Janet D. Howell* (D)

District 33

Stephen B. Hollingshead (R), no response received

Jennifer T. Wexton* (D)

District 34

J.C. "Chap" Petersen* (D)

District 35

Richard L. "Dick" Saslaw* (D)

Terry W. Modglin (I)

District 36

Gerald M. Foreman (R)

Scott A. Surovell* (D)

District 37

David M. Bergman (R)

David W. Marsden* (D)

District 39

George Lincoln Barker* (D)

Joseph R. Murray (R)


Town of residence: Burke

Age: 67

Family: Wife, Julia, and three sons

Education: W.T. Woodson High and Randolph Macon College

Offices held, dates: House of Delegates, 2006-2010; Virginia Senate 2010-present

Occupation and relevant experience: Technical Assistance Director for DSG working to reduce youth violence across 10 major U.S. cities. Former Director Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, probation officer, and Superintendent of Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center.

Community involvement: Board Member Fairfax County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), former President of the Enterprise School and the West*Lynch Foundation. Started Virginia’s first local secure mental health/substance abuse program for young offenders. Former coach and referee for youth baseball, basketball, football, and soccer.


Email address:

Twitter handle: @sendavemarsden

Name three favorite endorsements: Fairfax County and Virginia Education Associations, Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, and Fairfax County Professional Firefighters Association


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

I’ve dedicated my career to keeping Fairfax County and Virginia safe through numerous leadership positions in our juvenile justice system. As a legislator, I’ve continued that service by working to strengthen the juvenile justice system, starting an adult prison re-entry effort that will reduce recidivism and improve public safety, and cracking down on sexual predators.

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

I’m pleased put my record of leadership and history of dedicated service to this community to the test for re-election. From my career choices to the number of hours I’ve spent volunteering in our neighborhoods to every vote I’ve taken as a member of the General Assembly, I’ve always put the people of Fairfax County first. I’ve worked with Republicans and Democrats to find solutions to issues, I’ve worked to bring back our tax dollars for our schools and roads, and I’ve fought for the values that we share here in Northern Virginia.

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 have a long history of successfully working with Democrats and Republicans to get things done. I’ve led efforts to build consensus to balance the Commonwealth’s budget without raising taxes. Every year you can find multiple examples of my efforts to put progress above partisanship. Three examples from this last year include: 1. SB1314 with Republican Delegate James LeMunyon, prioritizes congestion relief when VDOT is choosing transportation projects instead of a legislator’s “pet” project. 2. SB1102 with Republican Senator Mark Obenshain, allowed Uber to legally and safely operate in Virginia. 3. SB1235 with Republican Delegate Dave Albo, is landmark legislation that allows someone suffering from intractable epilepsy to utilize non-psycho active medical cannabidial oils.

In order, list your top 5 specific legislative priorities.

  1. Improving funding for and reforming our education system.
  2. Diversifying our economy so we are less dependent on the federal government spending.
  3. Fighting against unfair tolling and continuing to invest in our transportation system to ease congestion.
  4. Strengthening our juvenile justice system to ensure our communities are kept safe and advancing evidence based adult re-entry programming.
  5. Continuing mental health system reforms so all those who need care receive it.

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

Fairfax County has long been a growing community, that growth has brought new needs and new opportunities in transportation, education, and human services. I was glad to support the Silver Line and am currently looking at all alternatives to I66 tolls. We’ve invested more in education, public safety, and human services. Because of the great people who have made Fairfax County home, this is one of the best places to live.

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?


Do you support expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act?

Yes, I will continue to work with legislators from both parties and Governor McAuliffe to forge a solution to this impasse. Expanding Medicaid will provide health coverage for close to 400,000 Virginians and it is estimated to create $1.9 billion in economic impact and 30,000 jobs. This issue is too important to our community and Commonwealth to allow us to forgo $1.8 billion in federal funding that Virginia taxpayers are already paying.