Artur Davis's return to the Democratic Party in Alabama has been neither triumphant nor happy.
The former Democratic congressman, who joined the Republican Party in 2011 but decided in recent weeks that he no longer felt like a good fit, was rebuffed by the Alabama Democratic Party last week when he sought certification to run under the party's banner for a seat on the Montgomery County Commission.
So he says he will take the party to court.
"Yes I am preparing to file litigation against the Alabama Democratic Party," Davis said via e-mail.
The state party's executive board, in a meeting Friday, overwhelmingly rejected Davis's request to be allowed to run as a Democrat in next March's primary. Board members cited a rule that states former Democrats who supported an opposing party in the past four years cannot be reinstated. Davis was a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention in 2012, where he spoke in favor of GOP nominee Mitt Romney and spent the run-up to the general election criticizing President Obama.
Davis said party leaders have not turned away a prodigal Democrat in more than 30 years and suggested that he was being singled-out by a longtime political rival.
"I think that Democrats in Montgomery appreciate that my suit is not a strike against the party but an effort to rein in one dictatorial figure … who uses the party as a personal fiefdom," he said.
Davis, who seconded Obama's presidential nomination at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, represented Alabama in Congress from 2008 to 2011. In 2010 he suffered a crushing loss in his bid to become Alabama's first African American governor. Earlier this year he lost a bid to become mayor of his home town, Montgomery.
If he doesn't win his lawsuit, which he plans to file this week, Davis said he would not try to run as an independent.
"Independent races in a presidential year are non starters," he said in his e-mail. "In Montgomery, 76% of presidential year votes are straight ticket."
And, for what it's worth, state party officials can't stop Davis from being a Democrat.
“He can be a Democrat. He can attend Democratic meetings. He can’t run as a Democrat,” Nancy Worley, chair of the Alabama Democratic Party told the Montgomery Advertiser. “Democrats would love to hear his voice on issues. I think he is extremely intelligent. He would certainly add much to the Democratic discussions."