Artur Davis joins GOP

Published 2:46 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2012

By Tim Reeves

The Selma Times-Journal

Just over two years after being soundly defeated in his bid to become Alabama’s first black governor, former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis — now a resident of Virginia — is switching political parties.

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Davis, who once represented Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District, used his personal website to make the announcement late Tuesday. And in doing so, said that if he were ever to run for office again, he would do so as a Republican.

“So, if I were to leave the sidelines, it would be as a member of the Republican Party that is fighting the drift in this country in a way that comes closest to my way of thinking: wearing a Democratic label no longer matches what I know about my country and its possibilities,” Davis wrote.

Davis failed in his bid for governor, falling to Ron Sparks in the Democratic primary. Sparks went on to lose to eventual winner, Robert Bentley.

In order to run for governor, Davis gave up any re-election bid for Congress, and after losing in the primary, moved to Virginia. He now lists his full-time address as Virginia and is believed to be position for a run for office in Virginia.

“… it is true that people whose judgment I value have asked me to weigh the prospect of running in one of the Northern Virginia congressional districts in 2014 or 2016, or alternatively, for a seat in the Virginia legislature in 2015,” Davis wrote.

In his comments, Davis also directed criticism of the Alabama Democratic Party, saying they have “lost faith.”

“That, too, is no light decision on my part: cutting ties with an Alabama Democratic Party that has weakened and lost faith with more and more Alabamians every year is one thing; leaving a national party that has been the home for my political values for two decades is quite another,” Davis said.

As for President Barack Obama, a candidate Davis supported early on, he now takes exception to many of the president’s policies and decisions made by the Obama administration.

In his letter, Davis criticized Obama’s economic, job creation and immigration policies. Specific to immigration, Davis was critical of the Justice Department’s lawsuits against states like Arizona and Alabama, who have adopted new and strict immigration laws.

“I wince at the Obama Administration’s efforts to tell states they can’t say the word immigration in their state laws, and find it foolish when I hear their lawyers say that a local cop can’t determine the legal status of a suspect validly in their custody,” Davis wrote.

Davis represented the Seventh District of Alabama as a Democrat from 2003 to 2010.

Davis, a 1990 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and a 1993 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, and is now a licensed attorney in Washington, D.C.