Davis visits Demopolis on Saturday

Published 7:22 pm Monday, May 31, 2010

Alabama gubernatorial Democratic Party candidate Artur Davis paid a visit to Demopolis on Saturday as part of a six-city tour that stretched from Tuskegee to Aliceville.

Each stop along the way also featured a special community event. The tour began in Tuskegee, where the city held its 45th annual Tuskegee Airmen Parade. Davis then went to Montgomery, where Canaan Missionary Baptist Church held its Mayfest and Health Fair.

From the capital, Davis came to Demopolis, hoping to see part of the Car, Truck and Bike Show being held at the city landing’s barbecue field, but the show packed up early due to threatening weather.

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Davis went to Marion and Eutaw before completing his tour with Aliceville’s Freedom Creek Festival.

“We’re just moving around today,” Davis said. “At the end of any campaign, you’ve kind of done all that you can do in terms of your message, in terms of your spending, and we’re just trying to touch a few voters at the last minute.”

Davis said there were a lot of undecided voters around the state who had heard a lot of information and were trying to process it.

Davis said that industry was one of his top priorities, especially for the Black Belt region.

“We’ve got to have a commitment to getting industry to the Black Belt,” he said. “We’ve got to have a commitment to expanding the job base, and we’ve got to have a commitment to improving the quality of our schools — and I say that knowing that the county has the best public school system in the region.

“We’ve got to have a commitment to improve our schools to give us a chance to compete for industry, because industry is made up of workforces, and workforces are greatly based on the quality of their education.“

Davis said that Alabama has done a good job in getting industry to come to the state, but “we have to up our game” to keep up with the changing times and compete better with other venues.

“We’ve got to expand on the footprint we have in Huntsville and Birmingham in high tech,” he said. “We’ve got to find ways to take advantage of advanced manufacturing and advanced technologies all around our state. In begins with an industrial vision of what this state can look like.”

Davis said the biggest division in the governor’s race among the Democratic Party candidates has been which candidates would be independent of the special interests in Montgomery and which candidates would be controlled by them.

“My Democratic opponent raised $400,000 from Montgomery lobbyists in two days this year: Jan. 11 and May 11,” Davis said. “As I pointed out last night in the last debate we had in this campaign, they didn’t give him that money to break them up their influence in Montgomery; they gave it to him to preserve it.

“I am the only candidate running on the Democratic side who is going to have the capacity to go to Montgomery and say to certain interest groups and the powers there that we’re going to do things differently.”

Davis said that if he were to win the primary, that would mean that voters in the Democratic primary understood that the Democratic Party has to change and that state politics has to change.

“Frankly, if I lose, it will be in some measure because they resisted the idea that we needed to change,” he said. “It’s what this election will come down to. The sad reality is that Democrats have lost five of the last six governors’ races. For the Democratic Party to win here, obviously, the party is going to have to become more attractive to a group of voters.”

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, June 1.