Mendel Davis; S.C. Democrat In Congress

Associated Press
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mendel J. Davis, 64, a South Carolina Democrat who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 to 1981, died May 13 in Charleston, S.C. He had complications from emphysema.

Rep. Davis's district stretched from Georgetown, S.C., south to the Savannah River. He served on the House Armed Services Committee

Rep. Davis sponsored legislation that brought the aircraft carrier Yorktown to the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

He suffered from a recurring back problem and decided not to seek reelection in 1980. Tommy Hartnett won the seat, becoming the first Republican since Reconstruction to represent the district.

In 1986, Rep. Davis again sought the Democratic nomination but was defeated by Jimmy Stuckey in the primary. Stuckey lost the general election.

After leaving Congress, Rep. Davis worked as a lawyer and consultant, hosted a radio talk show and served as chairman of the Charleston County Democratic Party.

Mendel Jackson Davis was born in North Charleston, S.C., on Oct. 23, 1942.

He was a 1966 graduate of the College of Charleston and a 1970 graduate of the University of South Carolina Law School.

He was a district assistant to Rep. L. Mendel Rivers (D-S.C.) before winning a special election to fill a vacancy caused by Rivers's death in 1970.

Survivors include his wife, Jane Davis, and two daughters.

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