By Aila Boyd

Dean Davison has decided to trade in his firefighter uniform for a suit and tie.

Dean Davison
Submitted Photo

Davison, a Bedford resident, declared his candidacy for the House of Delegates earlier this month.

He’s seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination to run for the 19th District, which is currently represented by Republican Terry Austin, a Botetourt native.

Currently, Davison is the only candidate seeking the nomination. The Libertarian Party elected to hold a nominating convention. It will be held at the Town Center Tap House in Daleville from 1 to 4 p.m. on March 9.

Davison said he hopes his extensive experience in serving people during their time of need as a volunteer fire and rescue worker will translate into serving the constituents of the 19th District in Richmond.

He explained that the biggest lesson his time in fire and rescue has taught him is compassion.

“It’s just about being compassionate and helping people,” Davison said of public service whether it be as a firefighter or a legislator.

Davison stressed his commitment to Libertarian ideology by describes himself as a promoter of individual liberty and a proponent of small government. He also said that he’s “big” on the Second Amendment.

As he campaigns for the Libertarian Party’s nomination and, if he is given the nomination, the general election on November 5, Davison said that he doesn’t plan on taking any money from special interests.

“When working for an organization you must do for others and not for your own personal interest,” Davison said. “It is for we, not for me.”

Currently, the only two parties with representation in the House of Delegates are the Democratic and Republican parties. To date, no Libertarian has served in the House of Delegates.

Policy positions

In order to ensure that farmers in the more rural parts of the 19th District are profitable, Davison said that he strongly supports the farming of hemp.

“It’s a higher cash crop,” Davison said. “There’s a lot of benefits to it–it will help create jobs.”

Sticking with Cannabis, he said, if elected, he would like to work towards reforming the way in which the Commonwealth addresses the use of marijuana. First, he would like to legalize medical marijuana. Then, he would like to explore the legalization of recreational marijuana use as well.

In reforming the way in which the Commonwealth looks at marijuana, he explained, that would also lead to criminal justice reform. He noted that the way in which state laws police the use of marijuana unfairly penalize people of color.

Other policies that he would like to work on if elected include a reduction of statewide education regulations, school choice, increased funding for fire and rescue departments, increased focus on broadband, and a scaling down of the government bureaucracy.

Davison noted that the House of Delegates should take a hard look at all of the government programs in order to determine which ones are necessary.

“We need to take a look at a lot of the programs and streamline them. We want to make sure we aren’t overfunding them,” he said.

He added that reducing the size of the state government will help in terms of putting forth fiscally responsible budgets.

Speaking of Botetourt County, Davison said, “There’s a large opportunity for the expansion of jobs.”

He said he would also like to work hand in hand to grow small businesses throughout the county.

Davison, a New Jersey native, is a graduate of the Burlington County Institute of Technology. He currently serves as a rescue lieutenant training officer and safety officer with the Shady Grove Volunteer Fire Rescue.

“It’s selfless, but at the end of the day, you know it’s fulfilling because you know you’re doing right by people,” Davison said of his nearly 20 years as a volunteer fire and rescue worker.

He first became involved with the Libertarian Party back in the winter of 2013. Since then, he held the following leadership positions: secretary of the 6th Congressional District from 2016 to 2018, vice-chair of the Roanoke Valley Libertarians from 2018 to present, and chair of the 5th Congressional District from 2018 to present.

The 19th District represents Alleghany County, the City of Covington, and parts of Botetourt County and Bedford County.