Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) will not seek endorsements from his state’s major Black political groups in his quest to become governor of Alabama.
Davis has decided not to go through a traditional candidates screening process with the Alabama New South Coalition, the Alabama Democratic Congress and the Jefferson County Citizens Coalition.
Davis told the Montgomery Advertiser that he has great respect for the groups but also “the African-American voters who will participate in the primary need no permission, and no sample ballots, to decide who they favor in this governor’s race.”
However, the groups believe Davis has simply snubbed them.
“It’s arrogant to say ‘I will not be screened by these organizations.’ This is thumbing his nose at people who make up his base,” Hank Sanders, president emeritus of the Alabama New South Coalition, told the Advertiser.
Leaders from the other groups said they agree with Sanders. Chairman Joe Reed of the Alabama Democratic Congress believes that with his decision, Davis will not win in the upcoming primary election. Reed is also the executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association, a group that has contributed $95,000 to the campaign of Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, Davis’ opponent in the primary.
This isn’t the first time Davis has found himself in hot water in recent months. Davis was the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus to vote against President Obama’s health-care reform bill.
He stated at the time that he believed the bill was too expensive, but his detractors say he’s turned his back on his base and voted against the bill to protect his chances of election to a higher office.
According to April data from the Alabama Board of Elections, 25.3 percent of registered voters in the state are Black. Davis represents Alabama’s 7th District, which is nearly 62 percent Black.
“He was elected to represent the people in his district in Congress, not a future position that he may or may not get,” Roland Martin, political commentator for CNN and TV-One, told The Washington Post.