"It's time that we had a champion for individual liberty in Annapolis and I'm prepared to be that champion for our community," Dawson, a Perryville resident and a Republican, wrote in an e-mail to supporters last month announcing his candidacy. He filed on July 17, according to the Maryland Board of Elections.
"We can't beat the radical [Gov. Martin] O'Malley agenda in Annapolis by voting more like Democrats," he wrote. "By doing so, we play right into the hands of the liberals."
The District 35 seat is held by Sen. Barry Glassman, who is not seeking re-election and is instead running for Harford County executive. As a result of redistricting, the western areas of Cecil that had been in District 34 were moved into District 35, and the Bel Air and Abingdon areas that were in District 35 are now in District 34. Those shifts are most likely to benefit Republican candidates in District 35, as Cecil County's electorate voted strongly Republican in the last legislative elections in 2010.
In citing his "personal, professional and political experience" he'll bring to the State Senate, Dawson wrote he is a "committed Christian," vice chairman of the Cecil County Republican Central Committee, a board member for the Republicans of Cecil PAC and served as a Perryville town commissioner from 2011 to 2013, when he did not seek a second term.
Dawson served as a Prince George's County police officer for 13 years, working on the Criminal Investigation Division's Sex Offender Unit, and is a background investigator for Anne Arundel County Detention Center in Annapolis. Dawson wrote he was honored with 16 Letters of Commendation, four Unit Citations, three Good Conduct Awards and two Chief Awards, he said in a press release announcing his candidacy. He and his wife have two children.
"Running for public office isn't about fame or fortune, it's about improving our community by standing up for our common sense, conservative values," Dawson wrote, saying if elected he will propose cuts to corporate, income and sales taxes; propose spending reductions and initiatives to pay down our growing public debt; defund Planned Parenthood and pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; repeal "O'Malley's Gun Grab law" (SB281) and propose constitutional carry in Maryland; introduce a right to work law protecting workers' rights not to be forced to join a union as a condition of employment; and fight for school choice, local control and total repeal of "Common Core Standards" in Maryland schools.
"For too long, Democrats in Annapolis have had their way with the Republican minority," Dawson wrote. "We need conservative leadership poised to go on the offensive. Winning doesn't come from constantly being on your heels. It comes from taking the initiative to expose leftist ideology for what it is: harmful to America."
"This Senate District is one of the many seats that were changed by O'Malley and his minions in Annapolis," he added. "It is very important that we keep this a conservative Republican seat."