Deanna Stanton is the Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates District 80. His name will appear on the ballot on Nov. 2.
Candidate: Deanna Stanton
Race: Virginia House of Delegates District 80
Biography: My name is Deanna Stanton, and I am a proud wife of 39 years to my husband, Jim Stanton. We have three children and four beautiful grandchildren. I was born in Portsmouth and raised in Deep Creek. After graduating from Sentara School of Nursing as a registered nurse in 1996, I worked in home health and hospice. I moved back to Portsmouth in 2007, where I am a current member of Portsmouth Medical Reserves Corp. In addition, I am the vice-president of our family-owned small business.
As a home health hospice nurse, I spent many years in Portsmouth’s neighborhoods, and I have personally witnessed the struggles and fears of our citizens and the effect of crime on all our families. As our next delegate, my first three concerns are that I will work diligently to improve our education system, address crime in our neighborhoods, and help support our small businesses.
I will build bridges in our communities for real change!
Why should Virginians elect you to the Virginia House of Delegates?
I don’t believe in political labels; I believe that we are all human beings created in God’s image. Therefore, it is time that we have leaders who focus on the people’s real needs in our district, not just needs tailoring to a particular class or party. I am willing to drop our party labels and come together as one for the good of our community.
For far too long, leaders have told our community who to vote for and how to vote. As a result, we haven’t seen a positive change in decades. The crime rate is higher, education standards are lower, and small business owners struggle to keep their businesses alive. It has all come down to what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. I want to right the wrongs of this district.
I am eager to bring unity back to Portsmouth, and I will do that by building bridges within the community to help develop the transparency and trust of our state and local government. I will represent all people and give the power and voice back to the community to accomplish effective changes for our great city.
What do you hope to accomplish, if elected?
Once elected, I will concentrate on the health of our future and our future generations. First-class education for our youth is a priority. Our children need quality education; therefore, I will advocate for school choice. I will fight to eliminate the teaching of hate in our school system, and I will support grassroot groups and 501c3 organizations that encourage our youth and guide them to a better future. I will also support our teachers and make sure their pay is at a competitive level.
Once elected, I will sponsor and support bills that will create a healthy balance of criminal justice, criminal reform, law enforcement, and protect the rights of victims and their families. By doing so, we can create a fair and just system for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, or belief system. I will sponsor and support bills that will ensure our law enforcement and first responders have the equipment and training needed to provide our community with first-class protection while being top in their field of cultural sensitivity. I will support measures to build bridges between law enforcement and citizens to create trust and create a safer community. I will sponsor and support bills that provide programs for our youth to get them off the streets and validate all programs that will mentor our children, giving them a vision for their future. Further, I will always support the victims and give their families a voice and the support needed to help them through difficult times.
Once elected, I will be an advocate for small businesses. Each day, we see more evidence of the overreach and hypocrisy of the government during the pandemic by allowing big companies to stay open. Yet, at the same time, small business owners were forced to close their doors. I will fight to give the business owners a voice and stop the government’s overreach into their livelihoods. In addition, I will seek to reduce the burden of high taxes as well as seek tax incentives that will attract and keep new businesses.
What is the most important issue facing your district, and what is your position on it?
The crime rate in Portsmouth is the most important issue we are facing in our district. We need to ensure a better relationship between law enforcement and our local judicial system. The current leaders have created a situation where our judicial system treats criminals better than the victims.
We have a “catch and release” mentality in our district. Victims and their families are looking for justice, and our streets are becoming more dangerous by the day. I want to create an equitable balance in our judicial system to protect our citizens and seek justice for the victims and their families. I want to give honor, dignity, and respect back to law enforcement and make our city a safer place, not only for us now but also for our future generations.
What is your position on Virginia’s overall response to the coronavirus pandemic, and what might you have done differently?
First, I would like to express my sincere condolences to those who lost loved ones to COVID-19. As a registered home health and hospice nurse, I recognize the importance of community health and safety. I have encouraged those who want the vaccine to get it and have encouraged those who don’t want it to educate themselves and then make an informed decision. I have volunteered to give COVID-19 vaccines on multiple occasions with the Virginia Department of Health Medical Reserve Corp. to help get Virginia vaccinated.
Still, I believe it is unconstitutional and outrageous for the government to use power to mandate vaccines. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” As Americans, we should have the freedom over what goes into our bodies. I disagree with the government placing fines on businesses that refuse to mandate their employees to get vaccinated. I also disagree with the complete audacity to fire an employee who refuses the mandate, leaving the employee without the ability to support their family. These are all examples of egregious government overreach with their misuse of power and infringements on our liberties.
As a registered nurse, I believe in being proactive instead of reactive. I would have advocated for high-risk patients who initially tested positive to be offered the same medications given to patients in the COVID-19 intensive care units. Most high-risk patients, after testing positive, were told to go home and if they became worse to come back to the emergency room. By that time, many were so sick they required hospitalization or were admitted to the ICU. Early treatment could have potentially lessened the symptoms, thereby reducing the need for hospitalization and potential deaths.
I would have advocated for fair and safe measures that would have allowed Virginia to stay open. The government’s hypocrisy was evident during the lockdown. The government destroyed small businesses and their livelihoods while allowing big corporations to stay open. The ABC store stayed open while the local bars were closed. We stood in line for hours looking for toilet paper, but we closed our churches. Here in Portsmouth, outdoor basketball hoops were removed, but golf courses remained open. Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, and other large companies remained open while mom and pop businesses were forced to close.
I would have given small businesses their own discretion to remain open by using the same safety measures big corporations had set into place to keep employees and patrons safe. I would have allowed our children to stay in the school by prioritizing the use of emergency funds to supply our schools with the same proper PPE that the government deemed safe for other entities to remain open. Unfortunately, the government’s lack of fairness in closures has caused long-term hardships on our businesses, children, churches, and citizens. It’s time to give the power back to the people and stop the hypocrisy of politicians and government overreach.
What are the top three issues created by the coronavirus pandemic in your district, and how would you plan to address them?
The government failed our children. They were taken out of school, removed from social activities, and forced to sit in front of a computer to teach themselves. I plan on addressing this by making sure they never have to face these problems again.
If the money from our school systems followed the child, parents would have many opportunities to ensure their children were properly educated. For this reason, I will advocate for school choice. I will also ensure that our children have recreation centers and activities to keep them healthy and safe. If our children can go to Walmart, they can play basketball. Finally, we need to hire more resource teachers to help with the kids who have fallen behind due to the recent online procedures. This would ensure that every child would get the education needed to move ahead in their academic career.
The government failed our small business. Many businesses were forced to close their doors. Many did not receive the stimulus money promised, and many just simply couldn’t afford to stay open. Those who currently remain open are forced to restricted hours secondary to not enough employees due to stimulus money, increased unemployment benefits combined with expanded child tax credit. As a result, we have made it more viable for people to stay home than to work. All the while, our small businesses are losing money. I will help get people back to work by advocating to build a bridge of communication between the unemployment agency and businesses that need employees.
The government failed our community. As a result, crime is at an all-time high, mental health problems have sky-rocketed, and domestic violence has increased. I will work with law enforcement, local community organizations, first responders, healthcare providers, and citizens to create workable and transparent solutions.
In addition, I will work with churches and nonprofit organizations to help support and facilitate help for victims and their families of crime. The current government exacerbated the inequities in our district. Once elected, I will effectively ensure that our community gets back on track. I will build bridges for real change and prove I am here to be the voice for the people. I will give back the power to the people in our city and take it away from the career politicians. I will represent all the people of our district.