Ed. — This story originally appeared in the Sunday, Sept. 20, print edition.
VIRGINIA BEACH —State Del. Glenn Davis, R-84th House District, recently announced he will seek the Republican nomination to be Virginia’s lieutenant governor.
Davis sought the office in 2017, running a grassroots campaign in which he traveling more than 60,000 miles in the commonwealth. He finished third in the GOP primary that year. Davis made the announcement that he is in the running for the 2021 election on Thursday, Sept. 10.
“I know how to create opportunities and solve problems,” Davis said.
Davis is an entrepreneur and businessperson who served on the Virginia Beach City Council from 2009 to 2013 before being elected to the General Assembly in the 84th House District, which includes part of Virginia Beach.
During a telephone interview, Davis said he, his wife, friends and advisors had recent discussions about running for lieutenant governor again. Prior to that, he said, his focus had been on issues related to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Democratic control in Richmond and resulting actions, in part, helped him decide to run.
“It’s been a complete overreach,” Davis said, noting that some decisions this year “crush” small business.
“I think we need to take back Virginia and get it back on the right track,” Davis said. “So much has been accomplished over the years in Virginia to help make us number one in business and job growth. … In the course of 12 months, we’ve undone so much of that progress.”
Davis said his priorities include providing a “first class” education for Virginians and ensuring equal opportunities.
“The most important thing is making sure there’s economic opportunity and a level playing field for all Virginians,” he said.
He said state government should “make sure we make a growing opportunity that both entices relocation to Virginia of companies and motivates innovation and growth of small businesses.”
Davis said he has a track record of supporting innovative approaches for business, noting his work to let people know about MIT research about how coal can be used for graphene, a potential use in electronics. Though the coal industry has real challenges, Davis said the industry isn’t dead.
“But it’s not your grandfather’s coal industry,” he said.
Davis said the government must continue to recover from the pandemic and related shutdowns by “creating safe environments and getting Virginia back on track again.”
He said the state also must address byproducts of shutdowns meant to stop the spread of the virus that can cause the disease Covid-19, such as the rise in suicide and other mental health challenges.
“Richmond needs to recognize there is a second curve of those challenges for individuals that is just as important as the curve showing positive cases of Covid,” Davis said.
Lance Allen, a defense contractor from Fauquier, and Tim Hugo, a former state delegate, also are Republican candidates, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Democrats state Del. Hala Ayala, who is from Prince William County, and Paul Goldman, who chaired the Virginia Democratic Party in the 1990s and ran campaigns for former Gov. Doug Wilder, are among the candidates for the Democratic nomination to be lieutenant governor.
Other candidates are exploring candidacies, according to media accounts. Among them, Norfolk City Councilmember Andria McClellan launched a political action committee and is exploring a run.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a Democrat, is entering the race to be governor.
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