The RV allowed Davis to visit far-flung corners of the commonwealth even when the General Assembly was in session. He would snatch few hours’ sleep each night on the way back to Richmond and shower in a local gym before returning to work at the Capitol.
This time, Davis, 46, still plans to travel the state, but on a more limited basis, given restrictions on in-person campaigning because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“With covid, this is a totally different year,” he said in an interview Thursday. “The outreach is going to be different.”
A former Virginia Beach City Council member, Davis has served in the House of Delegates since 2014. He owns OnCall Telecom, a telecommunications management firm that at one point included Geeks on Call, the mobile tech-support chain.
In the 2017 nomination contest, Davis came in a distant third behind state Sens. Jill Holtzman Vogel (Fauquier) and Bryce E. Reeves (Spotsylvania). Vogel, who won the nod, lost the general election to Justin Fairfax (D), who on Thursday announced that he was filing paperwork to run for governor next year.
“This isn’t the time for pointless politics,” Davis said in a statement released by his campaign. “COVID-19 has delivered a heavy blow that is affecting all of us. We must protect our health and safety, replace lost jobs, and ensure all children across Virginia receive the education they need. I am running for Lieutenant Governor because it is time to put Virginians first and get results. I will lead to unite Virginians, provide serious, common-sense leadership, and get Virginia back on track.”
A statement issued by Davis’s campaign said he is “focused on restoring civility and respect to the political process.”
Virginia’s lieutenant governorship is a part-time position that pays $36,000 a year and comes with limited powers, but it is highly sought after as a potential path to the Executive Mansion.
Under the state constitution, the lieutenant governor has just two duties: to take over if the governor dies or leaves office before his term expires, and to preside over the state Senate. Over the past eight years — with the partisan makeup of the Senate closely divided and, at times, split straight down the middle — the role has become more prominent, since the lieutenant governor can break most tie votes.
Davis is the first Republican to announce plans to run for the office. Former delegate Timothy D. Hugo (Fairfax) has said he is “seriously considering” a run.
On the Democratic side, Del. Hala S. Ayala (Prince William) and Paul Goldman, former chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, have announced that they are running for the office. Del. Elizabeth R. Guzman (Prince William) and Norfolk City Council member Andria McClellan have said they are exploring a run.