By Taylor Boyd
In a bid to run for Lieutenant Governor, Del. Glenn R. Davis Jr., R-Virginia Beach, campaigned in Stuart at a Feb. 9 meeting of the Patrick County Republican Committee.
Davis, who has served in the House of Delegates for seven years, said his first passion is the American Dream: “The ability to go out and create something for yourself, your family, and that next generation.”
He said he learned that lesson from the story of his great-grandfather, who immigrated to the United States from Italy in the early 1900s.
“He spoke broken English and had nothing in his pocket and had a trade; he could grind blades from shears on a grinding belt. My grandfather dropped out of school in the eighth grade to work for his father. He went off to World War II and came back and ran a beauty and barber supply stores, grinding blades for barbers in Norfolk until he retired in his 70s,” Davis said.
Growing up, Davis said he recalled sitting on a stool watching his uncles and grandfather grinding blades and his mother attending to clients.
“That’s where I learned about the American Dream. That’s where I learned if you want to create something for yourself and your family, you don’t have to born someplace special, you don’t need to be born into a lot of money, you just have to have that drive and that dedication to go out there, and that dedication that your country is so known for,” he said.
He said the idea of the American Dream inspired him to begin his entrepreneurial career in a one-bedroom apartment in Virginia Beach when he was 26.
His company, a telecommunications management firm, was named one of America’s top 100 fastest-growing IT companies by Inc. 5000 in 2007. The company developed into a national brand, with 143 franchise territories across the country.
“It wasn’t because I’m one of the smartest people you’re ever going to meet, but because I’m one of the hardest working people you’re ever going to meet,” Davis said. “That’s how I was raised. That’s how my family raised me.”
Now, “that American Dream is slipping away. The over regulations, the burdens that our government is putting on small businesses, are killing those opportunities, and with it killing those small business jobs. Eighty percent of all jobs come from small businesses,” Davis said.
Like many, Davis said he thinks about the legacy he will leave behind.
“We all have one obligation as Americans, and that’s to make sure our nation and our state is handed off to the next generation as well off, and with the same opportunities as we were blessed to have given to us,” Davis said.
But “that’s not the path we’re on. I don’t want to be in my 60s, 70s, or 80s, looking at my nieces and nephews and the state and nation that they are inheriting, and sit back and say, ‘I could have, or I should have.’
“That’s why I’m standing here in front of you here today for this nomination. I’m going to fight along beside you in 2021 and put Virginia back on the right track again. I don’t want to see what we’re going down the track because it scares me,” he said.
Davis said he believes that if the Republican Party goes one more election cycle losing House of Delegates and statewide seats, that there will not be a Republican majority in the state for decades. “That just scares me for what that’s going to look like for our Commonwealth. I think that’s the reason why I’ve been blessed to have the endorsement of over 60 local, elected officials around the Commonwealth, and over 600 local grassroots leaders and activists around the Commonwealth and the GOP. Because we all want the same thing, we want to take back Virginia and leave the state and this nation in a manner we can be proud of for that next generation,” Davis said.
A second passion is the second amendment, Davis said.
“I shot competitively for my high school ROTC Unit and I came close to making U.S. team tryout my senior year of high school,” he said, and then recounted a second experience that involved the shooting death of a family member.
“When we’re young, we remember some things, but we forget a lot over the years. One thing I’ve always remembered is the experience of me being 9-years old, sitting on the couch one night when the phone rang. It was about my uncle William,” he said, and explained his uncle was working at a convenience store when it was robbed.
The robbers “took my uncle William out back, shot him and killed him,” Davis said. “I remember every story and all the conversations my family had the following weeks. They never blamed guns, they said they wished my uncle had his on him because he would probably still be with us today. They never said we need more gun control or that we need to stop people from getting firearms or we need to make it harder to get firearms.”
He said the experience made him realize that while police officers are great at catching the bad guys and administering justice, “they’re not there when that young man is being abducted. They’re not there when that home invasion happens, and they’re not there when that retail store is being robbed.”
Davis said these are the reasons why people have the right to own firearms to protect themselves and their families. “But if we don’t stand up and fight for it, it won’t be there for that next generation.”
“Ensuring equal access to a first-class education for every child in Virginia is my top priority. We should offer all children the opportunity to learn in a safe, welcoming environment where they are still challenged and expectations are high,” Davis said.
He said the state needs to invest in new, renovated schools that offer courses in modern technology and security, and expand access to public charter schools, regional Governor’s Schools, and other specialized schools.
“We also need to increase training for teachers, reduce class sizes, and provide access to technology for all students,” he said. “Most importantly, we must ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate, regardless of race or ethnicity, zip code, or economic background.”
“I never thought I’d see the day when we go from a society that literally bought lunches” for law enforcement officers “to wanting to spit in those same lunches,” Davis said. “Not only is it discerning, it’s just reprehensible.”
Davis said he understands the financial troubles of law enforcement personnel. His father-in-law is a retired NYPD officer, and “shared with me the stories of a time and what it was like to raise a family on a law enforcement officer salary and the challenges they had. It’s no different from today.
“Our officers don’t get into that field to get rich. They get into that field because they have a passion and desire to help others and assist other, but they have to be able to take care of their family. They don’t deserve to be attacked by a public that doesn’t appreciate them putting their lives on the line day-in and day-out,” he said.
After a year of every Virginian being affected by the virus, Davis said the state needs to plan for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and “must use federal dollars to limit the virus’s spread with more aggressive testing.
“We need to identify ways to support our existing businesses, including by changing regulations, as the ABC Board has done, and preventing businesses from being unilaterally and unjustifiably shut down without compensation,” he said.
Davis said the state also needs to work with schools to create a learning environment that gets students back in the classroom safely and parents back in the workplace as soon as possible.
Del. Glenn R. Davis Jr., R-Virginia Beach, campaigned during a Feb. 9 meeting of the Patrick County Republican Committee.