If former congressman Artur Davis wants to run for office in Alabama as a Democrat, he’ll have to wait until at least 2017.
It’s another setback for Davis, whose quest for elected office resembles a heat-seeking missile in search of a target. It has led him to multiple races for different offices in two states, and membership in both major political parties.
Davis is mulling a run for the Montgomery County Commission as a Democrat. But the Democrats aren’t exactly eager to have the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat back in their ranks. Last week, the Alabama Democratic Party’s executive board denied Davis’ request to be reinstated so he can seek the party’s nomination. According to state party rules, no one can run as a Democrat if they supported another party in the past four years. And as desperate as the Alabama Democratic Party is, it’s not making an exception for Davis, who spoke at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Davis can be a Democrat, but he can’t run for office as one until 2017, according to state party Chairwoman Nancy Worley.
And to think, it wasn’t too long ago that Davis was a rising political star.
Davis was first elected to Congress, from Alabama’s 7th District, representing Birmingham, in 2002, when he successfully challenged incumbent Rep. Earl Hilliard in the primary for the safe Democratic seat. The race garnered national attention as it turned, rather bizarrely, on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both candidates getting major backing from out of state.
With the support of pro-Israel groups, Davis won, and he was already someone to watch by the time he arrived in Washington.
From the beginning, Davis’ reputation was that of a moderate Democrat, an increasingly endangered species.
In 2010, he ran for governor of Alabama, but lost the Democratic primary — as well as the African-American vote — to a more liberal white candidate. It was an astounding loss, until one realizes Davis did everything possible to alienate his party’s base, including voting against the Affordable Care Act.
So, Davis moved to Virginia and became a Republican, with the intention of again running for office. But if he was too conservative for Alabama Democrats, he was too liberal for Virginia Republicans, and the curtain never really rose on Davis’ second act as a Republican.
Most recently, Davis returned to his hometown, Montgomery, to run for mayor. Defeated again, he set his eyes on the County Commission and the Democratic nomination — until he was dealt last week’s setback.
The only constant in Davis’ zig-zagging political career appears to be his unshakable belief that he should hold political office, be it congressman, governor or county commissioner.
Davis seems to think he is the indispensable man, no matter if voters think otherwise. But the political graveyard is full of “indispensable” men.