Dick Saslaw

  • District: 35
  • Member since: 1980
  • Localities represented: Alexandria City, Fairfax County
  • Committees: Commerce and Labor, Courts, Finance, Education & Health, Rules
  • Website:

A Lifelong Leader

Dick Saslaw began his career in public service as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1976, where he served until being elected to the Virginia Senate in 1980.

For the past thirty-one years, Dick has devoted countless hours to improving the lives of his fellow Virginians. In 1996, Dick was elected as floor leader of his party by fellow Senate Democrats. For the past 11 years he served as Minority Leader. This session – with the Democrats in the majority – he was elected Majority Leader of the Senate. 

In addition to his work as Democratic Leader, he is the Chairman of the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee and the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Transportation. Dick also serves on several other important Senate committees - Courts of Justice, Education & Health, Finance, and Rules.  In the past, he has chaired the Senate Education & Health sub-committee on Higher Education.

A Hometown Hero

A Washington D.C. native, Dick has spent his whole life living, learning and serving in our area.

After earning his B.S. in economics at the University of Maryland, Dick served in the U.S. Army from 1958-1960. Shortly thereafter, he began his career as an owner and operator of service stations in Virginia and Maryland.

Dick and his wife Eleanor, a career educator, have lived in Northern Virginia since 1968. Eleanor is retired from Fairfax County Public Schools and was appointed by Governor Warner to the State Board of Education. Dick and Eleanor's daughter Jennifer is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, the University of Virginia, and Stanford University School of Law.

A Champion for Our Children

Throughout his time in office, Dick has been recognized by numerous organizations for his leadership and ability to shape and guide legislation in a bipartisan fashion. He's known throughout Virginia as a leading advocate for our children and our public schools. Through his service on the Health & Education Committee, Dick has passed extensive legislation that invests in K-12 and higher education, providing a brighter future for our Commonwealth. 

In July 2006, the Association of School Boards recognized Dick as Virginia's Legislator of the Year.

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