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Dick Saslaw

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Dick Saslaw

Richard L. Saslaw
Saslaw in 2010
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 35th district
Assumed office
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 19th district
In office
Personal details
Born ( 1940 -02-05) February 5, 1940 (age 74)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Eleanor
Children Jennifer
Residence Fairfax County, Virginia
Alma mater University of Maryland
Occupation Service station operator
Committees Commerce and Labor (chair); Courts of Justice; Education and Health; Finance; Rules
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1958–60

Richard Lawrence "Dick" Saslaw (born February 5, 1940) is an American politician. A Democrat, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates 1976–80, after which he was elected to the Senate of Virginia. He currently represents the 35th district, made up of parts of Fairfax County and the city of Alexandria.[1]

Saslaw has been the Democratic leader of the Senate since 1996, serving as Minority Leader 1998-2008, 2012-Present and Majority Leader 2008-2012.[1] He ran for Congress in Virginia's 8th district in 1984. He was defeated by then-Congressman Stanford Parris.

Personal life

Saslaw was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in the suburbs. He served in the United States Army (1958–60), before receiving a B.S. degree in economics from the University of Maryland. After that, he went into the gasoline service station business.[1][2]

Saslaw and his wife Eleanor, a retired guidance director and member of the Virginia State Board of Education, settled in northern Virginia in 1968. Their daughter, Jennifer, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.[2] and her law degree from Stanford Law School. They live in Springfield, VA.

Election history

Year Subject Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  %
8th Congressional District of Virginia
1984 Richard L. Saslaw Democratic 97,250 43.3 Stanford Parris Republican 125,015 55.7
35th Virginia Senate District
2003 Richard L. Saslaw Democratic 17,735 82.48 C W Levy Independent 3,537 16.45
2007 Richard L. Saslaw Democratic 16,856 77.94 Mario T. Palmiotto Independent Green 4,532 20.95

Majority Leader

In the 2007 Virginia legislative elections, Democrats gained a majority by picking up four seats in the Virginia State Senate. Senator Saslaw was named Majority Leader when the Democrats assumed control of the chamber in 2008.

He also serves as chair of the Senate's Labor and Commerce Committee.

Education has been one of his priorities. In 2006, the Association of School Boards named him Virginia Legislator of the Year.

Political Positions

Gun Control

  • In February 2011, Saslaw was one of eight senators on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee who “passed by indefinitely” House Bill 1573, defeating the bill by an 8 to 4 margin. The bill, also known as Castle Doctrine, would have allowed “a lawful occupant use of physical force, including deadly force, against an intruder in his dwelling who has committed an overt act against him, without civil liability.” [3]


External links

  • Constituent/campaign website
  • Senate of Virginia profile
  • Past member search for Richard Saslaw, from the Virginia House of Delegates
  • Richmond Sunlight website
  • Virginia Public Access Project
  • Profile at Project Vote Smart
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