Chap Petersen

Chap Petersen

Summary

Current Position: State Senator for VA Senate District 34 since 2008
Affiliation: Democrat
Mission Statement: N/A

Capitol Office
Pocahontas Building
Room No: E517
Senate of Virginia
P. O. Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: (804) 698-7534
Fax: (804) 698-7651

District Office
P.O. Box 1066
Fairfax, VA 22038
Phone: (703) 349-3361
Fax: (800) 635-9417

Legislative Assistant: Kathy Neilson

Email Links: district34@senate.virginia.gov

Websites: Government pages, Campaign website, Twitter, Facebook

About

Chap Petersen 3

Source: Campaign page

John Chapman “Chap” Petersen represents central and western Fairfax in the Virginia State Senate. He grew up and lives in Fairfax City. His family has a long history in Fairfax.

Chap is a graduate of Fairfax High School (1986), Williams College (1990) and the University of Virginia Law School (1994).

Chap has been an attorney in private practice since 1994, successfully representing thousands of local people and businesses. In 2011, his peers selected him as one of thirty “Leaders of the Law” in Virginia.  His law firm, Chap Petersen & Associates, PLC, is located in downtown Fairfax, near the historic Fairfax County courthouse.

Chap began his career in politics by serving on the Fairfax City Council (1998-2002) and as a member in the Virginia House of Delegates (2002-2006).

In 2007, the voters of the 34th Senate District elected Chap as their State Senator. As a Democratic challenger, he defeated the incumbent Jeannemarie Devolites Davis in one of the most expensive legislative races in Virginia history. In doing so, he walked the entire district and wore out several pairs of shoes.

With his historic win, Chap earned the distinction of defeating an incumbent for a seat in both the Virginia House (2001) and Virginia Senate (2007). He is the only member of the legislature to hold that distinction.

In 2011, after redistricting, voters of the “new” 34th Senate District re-elected Chap with 60% of the vote.  He was re-elected again in 2015. The district stretches from Annandale to Centreville and includes the Town of Vienna and City of Fairfax.

Chap is a student of Virginia history, authoring his college thesis on economics and politics in antebellum Virginia. He enjoys traveling the Commonwealth with his family.

Chap’s other love is competitive sports and the outdoors. He is a long-time member of the Northern Virginia Rugby Football Club “Old Boys.”  He has completed the Marine Corps Marathon three times and the Richmond Marathon twice. 

Work Experience

  • Law Partner
    Chap Petersen and Associates PLC specializing in Business Law, Commercial Litigation, & Property Rights. (https://www.petersenfirm.com/)

Education

  • BA Economics
    William College
    1990 to present
  • Juris Doctor
    UVA School of Law
    1994 to present

Awards

  • President’s Award, Fairfax County Bar Association (2017)
  • Leader in the Law, Virginia Lawyers Weekly (2011)
  • Man of the Year, Korean Association of Washington, D.C. (2008)

Personal Information

Chap is married to Sharon Kim Petersen, who was born in Daegu, South Korea and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Chap and Sharon have four children.

The Petersens live in Fairfax City and attend Truro Church, where Chap was baptized in 1968 and where he is active in youth education and the choir.

Membership & Affiliation

  • Truro Church

Political Career

Source: Wikipedia

Petersen served on the Fairfax city council 1998–2001. He was elected to two terms in the House of Delegates, both times (2001 and 2003) defeating his predecessor, Republican Jack Rust.

In 2005, Petersen ran for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. He was defeated in the Democratic primary, finishing third with 22% of the vote in a four-way race, behind State Senator Leslie L. Byrne and State Delegate Viola Baskerville, but ahead of State Senator Phil Puckett.

In 2006, Petersen was a senior advisor to Democratic Senate candidate Jim Webb, who defeated incumbent Republican Senator George Allen.

2007 State Senate election

Petersen announced his candidacy for the 34th district seat in the State Senate, Wednesday, January 3, 2007. He defeated incumbent Republican Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis, wife of Congressman Thomas M. Davis, in the November 2007 election, taking 55% of the vote. The district had been the most Democratic state senate district held by a Republican

Recent Election Results

2015 State Senator for Senate District 34

Chap Petersen (D)27,69093.6%
Write in1,8816.4%
TOTAL29,571

2011 State Senator for Senate District 34

Chap Petersen (D)23,66259.7%
Gerarda Marie Culipher (R)15,93340.2%
Write in25.1%
TOTAL39,620

2007 State Senator for Senate District 34

Chap Petersen (D)25,51355.3%
Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R)20,49044.4%
Write in102.2%
TOTAL46,105

Source: Virginia Department of Elections

Campaign Finance

Source: Follow the Money

Committees & Appointments

Committees

Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
Courts of Justice
Education and Health

Subcommittees

Intergovernmental Cooperation, Virginia Commission on
Civic Education, Commission on

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation

Source: Virginia Legislative Information System

Policy Positions

Civil Rights

Protecting Citizens and Businesses

  • 2008’s SB 510 guaranteed college students the right to a fairly priced student loan.
  • “The Homeowners’ Bill of Rights (SB 1008 in 2015) guaranteed rights and liberties for citizens in HOAs or condo associations.

Ensuring a Healthy Virginia:

  • Establishing “Good Samaritan” protections: 2015’s SB 892 allows those who witness a drug or alcohol overdose to call emergency services without facing criminal prosecution. 
  • Requiring child abuse reporting: 2012’s SB 662 required establishments that care for children to report suspected child abuse or neglect

Fighting for Constitutional Rights

  • Protecting academic free speech: SB 831 in 2011 protected the rights of professors to research academic issues without fear of government intervention.   
  • Protecting citizens: Chap led the effort to stop unwarranted police surveillance (SB 965) in 2015.  It passed the Senate but was vetoed by the Governor. 

Democracy

Leveling the Playing Field

  • For years, Chap has introduced measures to limit campaign donations in Virginia; there are currently no such limits.
  • Chap took on the major power companies in 2017, with SB 1095 which sought to end the “refund freeze” for utility consumers

Education

  • Chap has sponsored numerous budget measures to bring funding for George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community Colleges.
  • Chap sponsored successful legislation in 2010 (SB 712) to establish GMU’s South Korean branch campus. 
  • Chap’s 2017 legislation (SB 1376) requires colleges and universities to give “30 days notice” before raising undergraduate tuition

Energy & Environment

  • The 2010 “SAVE Act” (SB 113) successfully upgraded Virginia’s natural gas system.
  • The 2010 “PACE bill” (SB110), created an innovative system for allowing property-assessed clean energy investments.
  • SB 843 in 2011 toughened laws on underground storage tanks.
  • SB 627 allowed homeowners in HOAs to install solar panels. 
  • Chap has sponsored bills to protect the Bay, including 2015’s SB 886, which would have established a 5¢ fee on plastic bags to fund Bay recovery programs.

News & Events

News Posts

Recent Events

Bulova/Petersen 2019 Town Hall
When: February 2, 2019 12:00 am
Where: Fairfax City Hall Council Chambers at 10455 Armstrong Street
Who: David Bulova and Chap Petersen
Go to this post to see videos and read more about Town Hall.

Social Media

Twitter

Facebook

Videos

Event Aircasts

Bulova/Petersen Town Hall
February 2, 2019

When:    Saturday February 2nd at 9:00 to 11:00 am
Where:   Fairfax City Hall Council Chambers at 10455 Armstrong Street (parking in rear of City Hall offices)
Web:       Recorded by Nic Barta for Virginia onAir edited by Ny-jhee Jones.

Summary of the event – Go to this post.

Speeches

Chap Petersen Discusses Atlantic Coast Pipeline & Mountain Valley Pipeline
May 17, 2018

Feedback

Questions & Answers

If you have any questions for Chap Petersen, send them to Ny-jhee Jones at ibenyjhee@gmail.com. Ny-jhee will first see if Chap Petersen has answered your question somewhere else. If they haven't, Ny-jhee will pass on your question to Chap Petersen and post their answer, if they have one.

Suggestions

If you have any suggestions for Chap Petersen, especially if you are a current or former constituent, send them to Ny-jhee Jones at ibenyjhee@gmail.com. Ny-jhee will record your suggestions here.

Recommendations

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Notes from Post Curator

My name is Ny-jhee Jones. I am the lead curator for this Chap Petersen post.

If you have any content you would like to add to this post, submit it to me at ibenyjhee@gmail.com.

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1 Comment » for Chap Petersen
  1. Scott Joy says:

    Notes from Post Curator:

    My name is Adia McLaughlin. I am the lead curator for this Chap Petersen post and ll other posts related to District 37 as well as moderator for all comments in these posts. To learn more about me, go to my post at http://va.onair.cc/adia-mclaughlin/.

    If you have any content you would like to add to this post, submit it to me at: amclaug8@masonlive.gmu.edu

    If you want to comment directly to this or other Hub posts, you need to be a Virginia onAir Hub member (go here to become a member – name, email address, and zip code required). You will need to follow two simple rules:
    1- keep your comments as constructive and positive as possible and
    2- no personal attacks on the Delegate or other commenters.

    If you would like to donate to or sponsor the Virginia onAir Hub or sponsor posts in District 37 or any other district, contact Adia McLaughlin at adia@onair.cc. All donations are to made to: Democracy onAir – a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501c3 organization chartered in Virginia.

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