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  • Liam Fischer

FALLS CHURCH NEWS PRESS: F.C.’s Upset Winner! Salim’s Surprise Senate Sweep!

by Nicholas F. Benton Falls Church News-Press

SADDAM SALIM, a first-time candidate, scored a major upset victory in Tuesday’s State Senate race for the 37th District that includes the City of Falls Church, He is shown here addressing supporters after the polls closed Tuesday night at Clare and Don’s restaurant in F.C. (Photo: Brian Reach)

In a major upset, Fairfax Young Democrats leader Saddam Azlan Salim won Tuesday’s Democratic primary election over J.C. “Chap” Petersen, in the 37th State Senate District that includes the City of Falls Church. The outcome was such a surprise that the official press release from the Fairfax County Democratic Committee got it wrong, erroneously reporting early Wednesday morning that Petersen had won the race for the 37th District seat. Called out by the News- Press immediately, the organization’s executive director Dominic Thompson, under whose name the press release went out, swiftly made the correction, reposting the revised press release and calling the News-Press to make sure it was seen, all before 10:00 a.m. yesterday. Surprise, indeed. Long shot underfunded first-time candidate Salim pulled the biggest upset of this Democratic primary season by upending well-heeled veteran lawmaker Petersen, and by a considerable margin, 10,049 to 8,616 with all precincts reporting in the newly configured 37th Senate District.

Petersen has been an elected member of the Virginia General Assembly for over 20 years and has usually run unopposed. But this year was the first time his district was reconfigured by last year’s redistricting and moved eastward to include Falls Church ...

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