*The pundits and the pollsters had all predicted that the race would be close. In fact, one late poll actually showed Congressman Artur Davis succeeding in his bid to become Alabama’s first African American governor.
Instead, he lost – badly.
Last week, white State Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks won all the state’s predominantly white voting districts and took 11 of the 13 counties where Blacks are in the majority. He beat Davis by 25 percentage points.
Davis’ shocking defeat is his own fault. In anticipation of competing in the general election against a Republican in a conservative state, Davis spent the past year and the Democratic primary distancing himself from his own Blackness and from Black voters.
He made it clear he was going after the white conservative vote and that he took the Black vote for granted. He even refused to meet with members of the Alabama Democratic Conference – the state’s most influential group of Black politicians and decision-makers.
On the national level, he was the only Black member of Congress to vote against President Obama’s healthcare reform legislation. The Rev. Jesse Jackson said of that vote, “You can’t vote against health care and call yourself a Black man.” And that is apparently how Alabama’s Black voters felt about Davis. He was trying so hard to appeal to white conservatives that Blacks no longer recognized him.
During the campaign, Davis ignored issues of race and cast one conservative vote after another in Congress. He even voted to renew the Patriot Act – former President Bush’s signature legislation which many progressives felt took away a wide range of American freedoms. Last week during his concession speech, he looked shocked and perplexed. But the answer to why he lost is simple: He took a gamble on disrespecting Black voters and pleasing white conservative voters and disappointed both. (source: Taylor Media Services – www.blacknewsjournal.net)
Congressman Artur Davis
*Representative Artur Davis of Alabama, who sidestepped the state’s black political leadership in hopes of building a diverse coalition of voters in his campaign for governor, was rejected on Tuesday by Democratic primary voters, with the state agriculture commissioner, Ron Sparks, seizing a decisive victory.
Sparks, who is white, won endorsements from the state’s four major black political groups, while Mr. Davis intentionally declined to seek their support.
But his strategy of appealing to moderate voters fell short, ending his quest to become the state’s first black governor 47 years after George Wallace stood in the Alabama capitol and proclaimed “segregation forever.”
The voters of Alabama joined those in Mississippi and New Mexico on Tuesday in selecting their party’s nominees for House and Senate races. But the marquee contests were races for governor. With 58 percent of electoral precincts reporting, Mr. Sparks led Mr. Davis 65 percent to 35 percent.
Get the FULL story at NY Times.
Artur Davis (D-AL)
*Representative Artur Davis is in an uphill battle to become the first African American governor of the traditionally conservative, if not racist, state of Alabama.
Thus, in an apparent bid to gain favor with white conservatives, last week he joined forces with 33 other mostly Southern Democrats who voted against President Obama’s health care reform legislation.
However, in opposing the president’s signature legislative effort, Davis was the only Black member of Congress to break with the president. He has also come in for harsh criticism.
His opponent in the June Democratic primary Ron Sparks suggested that the vote was an example of a politician who would do anything to win.
Meanwhile, commentator Roland Martin charged, “He was elected to represent the people in his district … not a future position he may or may not get.” (source: Taylor Media Services)
Rep Artur Davis (D-AL)
*Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., a Congressional Black Congress member and gubernatorial candidate, has long been a staunch opponent of President Barack Obama’s transcendent health insurance reform, which will increase Americans’ access to health care, reports Afro.com.
One day after the bill’s passage in the House, Davis released a statement slamming the president’s health care reform plan and supporting his decision to vote against it.
“I believe the no vote I cast tonight was the right one and a significant number of other Democrats joined me in casting that no vote,” Davis said. “Going forward, I hope for the good of our country that this legislation ends up working and that my reservations are proved wrong. I joined many other Americans in hoping that Congress can move past this enormously divisive debate and get on with the business of strengthening our economy.”
Read more HERE.
President Obama signs Health Care reform bill