Last week, following the resignation of Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) said he was considering running for the empty seat in Virginia’s most-populous city. However, he has just decided against the move, citing the measure to protect the one-seat majority Republicans hold in the House of Delegates.
In a statement, Davis said:
“Someone recently joked with me that they couldn’t figure out what it was that I wanted to be. The answer is simple, I don’t care about being anything. It’s what I want to do that’s important to me. For me, there is no difference between, City Council, House of Delegates, Lt. Governor, and Mayor. Sure, they may all have different responsibilities that come with each position, but for me they all provide the same thing, a chance to help grow economic opportunities for everyone, to get back to a landscape where tax and regulatory burdens do not hinder small business from growing and attracts new ideas for innovation, and to force discussions around solving problems, as opposed to ‘kicking the can down the road.’ So for me titles don’t matter, they are not what drive my passion for service. If anything, it’s the other way around.”
One of his biggest concerns, as was the concern with nearly every state Republican lawmaker in Virginia, was the balance of power in the House. If Davis were to run for mayor of Virginia Beach and win, a special election would be held to replace his seat in the legislature.
In 2017, following the blue wave in the Commonwealth, Davis narrowly won re-election.
Davis went on to say:
“First, so many in my district and around the state worked tirelessly to keep what is a one seat Republican majority in the House of Delegates, and the reality that my decision could alter that balance of power was of significant concern. I believe that we have strong potential Republican candidates in my district that could win a special election; however, nothing is guaranteed. And, while I may have helped keep that Republican majority this last November, it is not mine to risk.”
Davis also cities his continued work in the legislature with tax reform and business regulations as a big reason to say.
“…I recognize the tax and regulatory reforms that our Republican caucus has been working on, and that I believe are extremely important for the continued growth of our economy and to making Virginia #1 again for business and job growth, remain unfinished. This last session saw significant strides toward reform with the passage of Del. Webert’s regulatory rollback legislation, Del. Marshall’s legislation related to enterprise zones, and Del. Morefield’s legislation creating a very unique set of incentives to attract businesses to some of our more economically distressed parts of the Commonwealth. It’s progress like this that draws me to continue serving in the House of Delegates.”
Davis explained that his Republican colleague are a “team,” all whom “have each others’ back.” As a great team player, he explained that, “it’s not in me to be the one that lets my team down.”
Speaker of the House Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) opined on Davis’ decision through a statement earlier today.
“I know this was not an easy decision for Glenn, but as he thought about this possibility he saw exactly what is at stake for our Commonwealth. The narrow but resilient Republican majority in the House of Delegates defeated over $700 million in proposed tax increases this year and halted dozens of extreme measures that would make Virginia look more like California, all while advancing a positive agenda focused on practical solutions to everyday problems. Glenn was an integral part of that effort and I know we are all thrilled that he will continue his service in the House.”