By Debbie Adams
Dean Davison has announced that he is running for the Virginia House of Delegates in the November 2021 election representing District 19. District 19 includes parts of Bedford and Botetourt Counties, the City of Covington, and Alleghany County.
The seat is currently held by Republican Terry Austin, who ran unopposed in 2019 and is seeking his third term. The seat was held for many years by Lacey Putney – the longest-serving state legislator in Virginia’s history. As of now, no other candidates have announced they will run in 2021.
Davison will represent the Libertarian Party of Virginia (LPVA). Candidates must seek the nomination which will be affirmed at a convention taking place this winter to get the official Libertarian Party stamp of approval.
Davison has served as the District 5 Chair of the LPVA and is currently LPVA State Secretary, elected in March 2020.
He filed the paperwork to run for the Virginia House in 2019, but family health issues led him to drop out of the race. Many of his supporters have asked him to run in 2021.
Davison resides in Stewartsville. In 2008, he moved there with his family from Mount Holly, N.J., where he attended the Burlington County Institute of Technology Medford. He is a firefighter and a meteorologist consultant with The Weather Pros, doing primarily data analysis for those who work outdoors in 35 states. His first office was as president of his high school student council.
He says he started his political life as a Democrat but became disaffected with the party as it veered away from the conservative-leaning “Blue Dog Democrats ideals and toward socialism.”
Davison became an Independent, looking for a party which fit his political beliefs. He took a quiz online and discovered he had Libertarian Party leanings. He joined the Libertarian Party in 2008; voted for Libertarian Governor Gary Johnson in the 2012 presidential election and went on to become a card-carrying member of the LPVA in 2013.
As his interest in the Libertarian Party grew, he became an activist, then took formal positions with local Libertarian Party affiliates and with the state. (The Libertarian Party is basically a grassroots political organization with most of the day-to day work of the party done by volunteers working at the state and local level.)
Davison wants to see change and help contribute to making changes himself, beginning on the local level.
He says many people have no idea what the Libertarian Party stands for. He hopes, between now and the election, to reach out to the public and educate them on LPVA principles.
The Libertarian Party is basically the party of limited government. It was founded in 1971 and runs hundreds of candidates in every election from local to presidential throughout the nation –“to give liberty a voice.” Libertarians were represented in all 50 states in the most recent election on November 3.
According to the Statement of Principles, “Libertarians strongly oppose any government interference into their personal, family, and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit – as long as they do no harm to another. Peaceful, honest people should decide for themselves how to live their lives without fear of criminal or civil penalties; government’s only responsibility should be to protect people from force and fraud.”
Some of their principles include:
- Reducing the size and intrusiveness of government and cutting and eliminating taxes at every opportunity.
- Opposing censorship in any form.
- Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration, or military service laws. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.
- Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration. (Davison himself is pro-life.)
- Libertarians favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as gambling, and the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes. (Davison supports the legalization of marijuana.)
- They affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. “We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition.”
- The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.
- While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not subsidize any particular form of energy. We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.
- All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution.
- Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. We support the passage of a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, not by raising taxes.
- We favor a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want (if any), the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use, and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines.
- Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. Libertarians would phase out the current government-sponsored Social Security system and transition to a private voluntary system.
- The proper and most effective source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.
- We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policemen for the world. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.
- We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should neither deny nor abridge any individual’s human right based upon sex, wealth, ethnicity, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, or sexual orientation.
Davison has voiced his opposition to Red Flag laws in Virginia which set up a procedure through which law enforcement can take firearms from someone deemed a threat to themselves or others.
In a district which is mainly rural, which Davison says is made up of “strong, resilient, independent people,” he supports reducing the countless regulations on farmers and farm products by the FDA, the EPA, and other government agencies. He supports reducing regulations on industrial hemp.
He believes in Fair Tax – a consumption tax which would impose a national sales tax in lieu of income and corporate income tax, employment and self-employment taxes, and estate and gift taxes.
He favors election reform and opposes laws that effectively exclude alternative candidates and parties, such as the Libertarian Party, by denying ballot access and excluding them from political debates if their polling numbers are too low.
If elected, Davison will be representing about 80,000 citizens in District 19. For more information on Davison and his campaign, visit his website at https://davison4delegate.com/ or his Facebook page at Davison for Delegate 2021.