CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Former Charlottesville mayor and city councilor David Brown is vying for the Democratic nomination in the open 54th District seat in the House of Delegates.

Brown served as mayor from 2004 to 2008 and was on the Charlottesville City Council until 2011. He also worked as the director of the Virginia Department of Health Professions for eight years.

Brown said some of the biggest issues facing legislators in Richmond include addressing gun violence, protecting a woman's right to choose, addressing climate change and fully funding schools.

He said running a state agency in Richmond for the past few years has helped him form relationships on both sides of the aisle. 

Additionally, he said his experience working with Albemarle County as the mayor of Charlottesville, on projects like the YMCA, the John Warner Parkway, and the Ragged Mountain Dam expansion, would help him in representing all Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents in the 54th district.

"The issues facing the city and the county, there are a lot of overlaps, there are a lot of similarities," Brown said. "Gun violence, affordable housing, climate change initiatives, funding our schools effectively, these are all things that we have in common, so I look forward to representing the entire district."

David Brown is one of five candidates in this year's Democratic primary, which will be held June 20. The others are Bellamy Brown, Katrina Callsen, Dashad Cooper, and Dave Norris.

Current Delegate Sally Hudson is looking to move to the state Senate and will be facing Senator Creigh Deeds on the Democratic ticket.