By Matt de Simone
Dean Davison, the current vice chair of the Roanoke Valley Libertarians and 5th Congressional District chair, recently announced that he is suspending his campaign for the Virginia House of Delegates 19th District. The volunteer firefighter made the announcement in a statement via Facebook last Monday.
The decision for Davison’s sabbatical from the grueling campaign trail came due to the unfortunate news of his father’s cancer diagnosis. “We rushed my father to the hospital,” Davison explained. “He was having some stroke symptoms. Fire, EMS and I were able to take care of him. They ran a CT scan and found lumps near his abdomen. We discovered my father has Hodgkin’s lymphoma stage 3.”
Due to the disease remaining clear of infecting vital areas, Davison is positive his father will make a full recovery. Davison continued, “As much as I want to run [for the House of Delegates], as much as I want to push forward my ideas— which I still can do— family comes first. I couldn’t put forth 150 percent to the campaign. It’s not fair to my constituents and it’s not fair to the people who support me.”
Despite taking himself out of the campaign, Davison learned a lot in the time he spent speaking with the community. “Always talk to the people around you. Talk to your constituents,” Davison added. “Listen to what they stand for. If you don’t listen because their beliefs don’t match your campaign’s, you’ll fail. No matter who you are, you’re never going to know everything when you step on the campaign trail. Talk to the people you’re representing.”
Davison explained that although he is no longer running for the 19th District, there are other local Libertarians capable of ending up with positions in Virginia’s House of Delegates. He mentioned local Libertarians Dustin Evans, Pete Wells, Michael Bartley, James Jobe and Rachel Mace, who are all currently running for House seats in Virginia. Davison plans to join his fellow Libertarian Party of Virginia members on their campaign journeys in their respective regions.
While Davison will continue to support his fellow Libertarians, he made it clear that his time campaigning for office is far from over. “Don’t count me out,” Davison said when asked about his future in local politics, “I’m not done fighting for the people [in Alleghany, Bedford, Botetourt, and Covington].” Although he won’t hold an office in the Virginia House of Delegates, Davison plans to continue to be a voice in his community for local issues he cares about.
Del. Terry Austin, a Republican who currently represents the 19th District, announced back in April that he will be seeking re-election.