Current Position: District 37 Senator from 2010
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: Senate District 35

Dave is a progressive Democrat who supports reproductive healthcare access, gun safety, protecting our environment, a fully funded education system and child care, paid family and medical leave, juvenile justice reform, lowering the costs of prescription drugs, transportation infrastructure, and campaign finance reform.

Elected as a Democrat to the Virginia Senate in 2010 in a special election (flipping Ken Cuccinelli’s seat), Senator Marsden has earned a reputation as a hard working legislator who gets things done for Fairfax County and the Commonwealth. Before serving in the Virginia Senate, he served 4 years in the Virginia House of Delegates. Never afraid to put progress above partisanship, Senator Marsden has worked with Democrats and Republicans to pass legislation to relieve traffic congestion, improve education, and create jobs and he brings over 40 years of experience and expertise in the juvenile justice field to the legislature.

OnAir Post: Dave Marsden


oversight commission for VA Department of Corrections
The Virginian-Pilot, Katie KingFebruary 15, 2023

A bill that would have created more oversight for state prisons died in a House of Delegates committee this week, frustrating some advocates who were encouraged by its previous bipartisan support.

The bill would have created a committee consisting of four state legislators and 11 private citizens to monitor the Virginia Department of Corrections. The group would have held public hearings and submitted reports to the governor and General Assembly.

The committee also would have appointed an ombudsman to conduct inspections and handle concerns from prisoners, family members or the department’s employees.

The bill passed the Senate and the House Public Safety committee with unanimous support before Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee tabled it Monday with hardly any discussion.

“Clearly the governor’s office weighed in and told them to kill the bill,” Bobo said. “That’s how things happen sometimes, and it’s wrong. It’s absolutely wrong.”

The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

At Monday’s meeting, Sen. Dave Marsden — who introduced the bill — told the committee that other states, like New Jersey, had success with similar legislation. He said Virginia had a “very sound” corrections department but would still benefit from oversight.

“Nothing really audits the quality of life for the inmates and for the officers who are having difficulties or experiencing problems,” said Marsden, D-Fairfax County.

The senator said he believed an ombudsman could help cut down on the $2 million the state pays for outside counsel to settle lawsuits each year.

One person spoke against the bill: In a brief statement, Jerry Fitz, a legislative liaison for the corrections department, asked the committee to reject the measure. He said it could end up being too costly.

“This bill, what it would create is another layer of government in terms of having oversight of the department,” Fitz said.

The committee voted along party lines to table the bill.

Several groups were backing the measure, including the interfaith center, Americans for Prosperity, the National Coalition of Public Safety Officers and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia.

In a statement, the ACLU said the corrections department could not effectively police itself and that the committee’s vote was disappointing.

“We remain committed to working for safer conditions for incarcerated Virginians and a more transparent agency,” the organization stated. “The Commonwealth deserves no less.”

Katie King,


Source: Campaign site

A Life of Leadership and Service

A lifelong resident of Northern Virginia, Dave Marsden lives in Burke with his wife Julia. Fairfax County is where Dave and Julia raised their three children. Dave graduated From W.T. Woodson High School in 1966 and Randolph-Macon College in 1970, when he began a career in Juvenile Justice as a Probation Officer with the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. He went on to establish and operate Fairfax County’s shelter home for youth with severe family problems and was later appointed as the first Superintendent of Fairfax County’s Juvenile Detention Center. Under Dave’s 17 years of leadership, there was never an escape or serious injury to residents at the facility.

Dave left his role as Superintendent in 1999 to become the Legislative Aide for Virginia House of Delegates member Jim Dillard. In 2000, Governor Jim Gilmore appointed Dave as the Chief Deputy and then Acting Director of the 2,700 person Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. After serving for 6 months in the administration of Governor Mark Warner, Dave joined Development Services Group, Inc. (DSG), where he now manages a U.S. Department of Justice program that helps localities reduce youth gang activity and violent youth crime. Dave also served as the Obama Administration’s Technical Assistance Director for the National Forum on Violence.

Dave has long been active in local community organizations. He served as President of the Enterprise School and the West*Lynch Foundation, in addition to coaching basketball, football, and soccer with the Braddock Road Youth Club, (BRYC). He also coached baseball for the Annandale-North Springfield Little League.


Senator Marsden has passed more than 100 bills, recent legislation includes;

  • Virginia Business Ready Sites (SB 28)
  • Flood Resiliency & Protection (SB 551)
  • Trees; replace & conserve (SB 537)
  • Heavy Trucks; safe operation (SB 706)
  • Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act; gives Virginians control over their data (SB 1392 in 2021)
  • Solar Projects (SB 1258 in 2021)
  • Worker’s Compensation; presumption of certain diseases (SB 1275 in 2021)
  • Juvenile Parole Reform; gives juveniles a second chance (multiple bills)
  • Medical Marijuana (SB 1015 in 2020)
  • Electric Cooperatives (SB 754 in 2020)
  • Voter Registration (SB 219 in 2020)
  • Virginia Clean Economy Act; carbon free VA (chief co-patron of SB 851 in 2020)

District 35 Map



Email: Government


Capitol Office
Pocahontas Building
Room No: E618
Senate of Virginia
P. O. Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: (804) 698-7537
Fax: (804) 698-7651

District Office
P. O. Box 10889
Burke, VA 22009
Phone: (571) 249-3037

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