Tom Davis (Virginia politician)

Last updated

Davis's congressional district was redistricted after the 2000 census, which increased the percentage of Republicans in the district. In 2004, he defeated his relatively unknown Democratic challenger, Ken Longmyer, by a 59 percent to 39 percent margin. In the race, Davis outspent Longmyer, $1,835,000 to $72,000. [55]

In the November 2006 election, Davis defeated Democrat Andrew Hurst by 11 percentage points. It was the closest and costliest race Davis faced in 12 years. In financing his campaign, Davis outspent Hurst almost 9-to-1, $2,607,125 to $310,561. [56]

Independent Green Party co-founder, businessman Joseph Oddo was on the ballot in 2004. Ferdinado Greco, a physicist, George Mason University grad, owner and operator of a hybrid taxi business, was the Independent Green candidate in 2006.

Initial steps toward a 2008 Senate campaign

On September 15, 2007, Davis told WTOP's Politics Program that he was running for the Senate seat being vacated by John Warner. He said that he has been assembling money and staff for the contest, but was delaying a formal announcement until November. It had been presumed that he would face former Governor Jim Gilmore for the nomination. However, the state Republican Party opted to choose its nominee at a nominating convention rather than in a primary.

Davis argued that a primary would expose the candidates to the kind of environment they would face in November. It was also thought that a primary would have favored Davis due to his popularity in voter-rich Northern Virginia. In contrast, the delegates at the nominating convention would have been made up mostly of party activists; the state's Republican activist base is much more conservative than the primary and general electorates. Gilmore had argued strongly for a convention, claiming that a primary would leave the winner short of cash; he is also much more conservative than Davis, and would therefore have likely been the favorite at the convention. Funding was no small consideration, as the race for the Democratic nomination essentially ended when former Governor Mark Warner announced his candidacy. Warner was one of the state's most popular politicians, and had the ability to self-finance his campaign due to his considerable personal fortune.

The party opted for a convention, and Davis therefore announced in October 2007 that he would not run for the Senate. Gilmore was nominated, and lost the general election to Warner in a landslide. Davis also did not run for reelection to his House seat, and was replaced by Democrat Gerry Connolly.

Davis told the National Press Club in 2007 that he was considering later mounting a challenge to Virginia's other Senator, Jim Webb, in 2012. [57] Ultimately, he did not enter that race.

Post-congressional career

On November 17, 2008, Davis joined Deloitte Consulting in their Washington, D.C. office. [58] [59] He resigned from Congress on November 24, 2008. [5]

Davis served as president and CEO of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a moderate Republican organization. [60]

He has also started teaching a class at George Mason University, called "Southern Politics" in the 2008 Fall Semester. In the Spring and Fall of 2010, Davis taught Political Parties and Campaigns. The course is described as "Characteristics and functions of political parties, influence of parties and other political forces on electoral decisions, and emphasis on parties' inability or ability to hold government accountable to citizens" in the catalog. Former Virginia U.S. Representative Jim Moran also teaches the class with him.[ citation needed ]

On December 21, 2010, it was announced that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell appointed Davis to be a member of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors, filling one of the five seats on the Board allotted to Virginia. [61]

In August 2014 Davis was named rector of George Mason University. He had been on the university's Board of Visitors since 2013.[ citation needed ]

Davis is a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One, a group of former members of congress, governors and cabinet officials dedicated to campaign finance reform. [62]

In 2019, he left his position at Deloitte and became a lobbyist for the Holland & Knight law firm. [63]

Political positions

Davis's district is in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. He was active in efforts to change federal procurement and contracting practices that make it faster to award contracts but also easier to award no-bid, "cost-plus" and "share in savings" contracts. These contracts especially involved the GSA and the Department of Homeland Security. [64] Critics of the reforms pointed to the increasing campaign contributions from beneficiaries of the contracts and a reduction in audit and auditors, oversight, and performance by contractors after the changes. [65]

Tom Davis was one of only eleven Republicans to vote against the Contract with America Tax Relief Act [66] that cut taxes by $189 billion over five years, including lowering the capital gains tax rate and easing the "marriage penalty," [67] and supported a tax hike referendum to raise sales taxes in northern Virginia by 4.5 to 5%. [68]

He also went against his party by supporting District of Columbia voting rights, and introduced "The District of Columbia Fair and Equal House Voting Rights Act of 2006" before the house. However, this bill never made it out of committee. [69]

Davis supported Virginia's Right-to-work law, which was opposed by organized labor. [70]

In 2006, Davis said he opposed amnesty for illegal immigrants and supported H.R. 4437, an immigration reform bill sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner. [71]

Davis voted to support stem cell research. He was a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a group of Republicans who describe themselves as "mainstream".

In 2007, expressing disapproval [72] with the Democratic Party resolution disapproving of the Iraq troop surge, Davis nevertheless broke with his party line to vote for the resolution. [73]

Project Vote Smart reported that Davis has high approval ratings from business groups, but significantly lower ratings from groups that support abortion rights, environmental protection, and civil liberties. [74]

In 2012, Davis was elected president of the Federal City Council, a group of business, civic, education, and other leaders interested in economic development in Washington, D.C. [75]

Personal life

Davis is a member of the Christian Science Church.

In 1973, Davis married Margaret "Peggy" Rantz, a medical doctor. They have three children together. He divorced her in late 2003 and announced his intention to marry Jeannemarie Devolites in February 2004. [76] They married in June of that year. Davis's first public involvement with Devolites was in 1997 when he managed her campaign for the Virginia House of Delegates, her fourth campaign and first successful one, and was her biggest campaign contributor. In 2003 she was elected to the Virginia State Senate, serving one term before her defeat for re-election in 2007. Davis's political action committees gave her more than $172,000 by mid-2006. [18] He has four stepdaughters from this marriage.

Electoral history

Tom Davis
Tom Davis headshot.jpg
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Virginia's 11th district
In office
January 3, 1995 November 24, 2008
Virginia's 11th congressional district : Results 1994–2006 [77]
YearDemocraticVotesPctRepublicanVotesPct3rd PartyPartyVotesPct3rd PartyPartyVotesPct
1994 Leslie L. Byrne 84,10445%Tom Davis98,21653%Gordon S. Cruickshank Independent 3,2462%*
1996 Thomas J. Horton74,70135%Tom Davis138,75864%C. W. "Levi" Levy Independent 2,8421%*
1998 (no candidate)Tom Davis91,60382%C. W. "Levi" Levy Independent 18,80717% Write-ins 1,7012%
2000 M. L. "Mike" Corrigan83,45534%Tom Davis150,39562%Robert K. McBride Independent 4,7742%C. W. "Levi" Levy Independent 4,0592%*
2002 (no candidate)Tom Davis135,37983%Frank W. Creel Constitution 26,89216% Write-ins 1,0271%
2004 Ken Longmyer118,30538%Tom Davis186,29960%Joseph P. Oddo Independent 4,3381%*
2006 Andrew L. Hurst102,51144%Tom Davis130,46855%Ferdinando C. Greco Independent Green 2,0421%*

*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1992, write-ins received 145 votes. In 1994, write-ins received 114 votes. In 1996, write-ins received 181 votes. In 2000, write-ins received 285 votes. In 2004, write-ins received 291 votes. In 2006, write-ins received 259 votes.

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U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Linder
Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee
Succeeded by
Tom Reynolds
New York
Political offices
Preceded by
Dan Burton
Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee
Succeeded by
Henry Waxman
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative