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Organizer Erika Yalowitz joins race to represent Tysons and Fairfax in State Senate

Erika Yalowitz, candidate for State Senate in the 37th District (photo courtesy of Erika Yalowitz)

A new candidate has entered the race for the State Senate seat in the 37th District.

Organizer Erika Yalowitz announced today that she’s challenging to be the Democratic nominee in the newly-redrawn district, which includes Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.

She will face off against fellow challenger Saddam Azlan Salim and incumbent Chap Petersen in the June 20 primary.

“Our new Senate District deserves a voice that is aligned with our community’s priorities, and our party’s values.” Yalowitz said in a press release. “I understand those values, because I’ve been living them for the 12+ years that I’ve called Tysons home. That means supporting working families, prioritizing pedestrian safety, protecting our community from gun violence, and committing to science based solutions for protecting our neighbors from future public health crises.”

As a community organizer, she successfully advocated for Blake Lane Park to be transferred to the Fairfax County Park Authority instead of being replaced by a new school. She also noted that she’s a union member, a mom, a Latina, a “non-profit leader,” and a court officer for Arlington Circuit Court.

Yalowitz previously ran to represent Providence District on the Board of Supervisors in 2019. She finished in third place in the Democratic primary, with about 14% of the vote. She did capture the majority of the votes in several precincts, though.

In a follow-up email with FFXnow, Yalowitz said Petersen has a “history of representing center-right positions,” and she’s a “progressive” who better represents the “demographics and values of the district.”

Petersen is running for his fifth term, having served in the senate since 2008. With redistricting, only about 44% of his former constituents will move with him to the 37th District.

Because of that, Yalowitz told FFXnow that it’s an open seat and Petersen is not a “full incumbent.”

Currently, no Republican has announced their candidacy for the senate seat. The general election is set for Nov. 7, 2023.

Elsewhere, redistricting has added significant intrigue to a number of 2023 state senate races. Several incumbents were paired in the same district, including in District 35 and District 38, which could lead to primary battles.

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