Artur Davis reportedly considering Republican House bid in Virginia
By Rachel Weiner,
Former Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) might run for Congress in 2014 — possibly as a Republican.
BuzzFeed reports that the conservative Democrat is looking at challenging Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) in 2014.
The Fix reached out to Davis via email and the man who sought the 2010 Democratic nomination for governor in the Yellow Hammer State was very careful to leave the door open to another bid — possibly from the other side of the partisan aisle.
“I do receive encouragement from friends to join the Republican Party and to get into politics in the [northern Virginia] area, but I recognize the challenges of reentering politics in a new state and a new party, and am nowhere near taking those challenges on,” Davis told The Fix. “If I did, I would have a lot to learn about this region and a lot of people to meet, and frankly, would need a lot of help from people in this community.”
U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, talks in his office about running for governor of Alabama in Birmingham, Ala. on Tuesday Aug. 12, 2008.
At this point the former congressman would more likely find a welcoming home in the GOP.
“I know he’d be welcomed” by the GOP, Virginia Republican strategist Chris LaCivita said. “I think he would be a formidable candidate.”
Many Democrats want nothing to do with him. “Promise turned into sour grapes,” said Davis’ former pollster, John Anzalone.
Since losing the 2010 gubernatorial primary Davis has become a consistent critic of his own party.
When Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) decided to retire, Davis said the party had become too liberal for the moderate senator. He sided with Republicans on voter ID laws, which Democrats argue disenfranchise black voters.
In an interview with The Fix last December, he openly speculated about running for office as an independent or a Republican.
But it’s unclear that even a moderate Democrat-turned-Republican could wrest Connolly’s seat away. Redistricting plans make the northern Virginia district that Connolly narrowly held in 2010 more Democratic, not less.
Davis currently lives in Arlington, though he maintains a home in Alabama.