Candidate Attributes Anonymous Query to News-Press

Virginia State Senate candidate Chap Petersen falsely attributed an unsigned written question to the Falls Church News-Press during a debate with his incumbent opponent Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis at the Temple Rodef Shalom Sunday. The question, asking Petersen if he disassociates himself from the discriminatory stands of the leaders of his church, was submitted by a member of the Temple congregation. But Petersen said sarcastically, “Thanks for the question, Nick” (referring to News-Press editor Nicholas F. Benton, who was in the audience). He said that where he goes to church “is my business,” and did not answer the question. Petersen aligned with conservative defectors opposed to the elevation of an openly-gay clergyman as a bishop in the Episcopal Church. Last December, at his Truro Church in Fairfax City, he voted against “continuing Episcopalians” in a congregational vote to leave the Episcopal Church