January 30th, 2008
03:20 PM ET
15 years ago

Another Republican congressman to retire

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Moderate Republican Tom Davis, R-Va, announced Wednesday he will retire at the end of his current Congressional term. Davis is the 28th House Republican to retire or seek higher office this cycle.

"After much soul-searching and discussion with those closest to me, I have decided the time is right to take a sabbatical from public life," Davis said in a written statement. "I will serve out the remainder of my term, and plan to remain an active contributor to Republican causes, but will not run for office in 2008."

Davis is the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, which is conducting several high profile investigations, including a probe on steroids in baseball. He also served as Chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee in 1998 and 2000.

Last year Davis seriously considered running for the seat of retiring Senator John Warner, R-Va. But when the state's Republican party moved to choose its nominee through a state convention rather than a primary, Davis decided not to run. Davis' wife, Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, who is a Virginia state senator, lost her re-election race in November.

Davis did not say what he intends to do, but plans for his post-Congressional career, but said, "it's clear to me that returning to the private sector and reacquainting myself with that view of the world is the best move for me and my family."

Virginia has traditionally been a Republican stronghold, but Democrats have made inroads as the state tilts more to the left, especially in the heavily populated northern part of the state.

Doug Thornell, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called Davis' decision "yet another blow to National Republicans" and said the seat becomes a "top pick-up opportunity for Democrats." In the last three statewide contests Democratic candidates have carried Davis' northern Virginia district.

A spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Ken Spain, conceded Davis seat would be challenging for Republicans. "We have immediately begun reaching out to prospective candidates and Republican activists in the district," Spain said. "The race will no doubt be competitive but we are confident that we retain the seat."

Two Democratic candidates, former Rep Leslie Byrne, who lost to Davis in 1992, and Gerry Connolly, have already announced plans to run.

- CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh

Filed under: House
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Karen

    He doesn't know what he is going to do? He could try something no politician has ever done.......maybe he will consider joining a lobbying firm.

    January 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. JB, Oakland

    They know what's coming in November.

    January 30, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. W B in Las Vegas

    what was that old saying about rats and ships?

    January 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Todd C.

    Thats room for yet ANOTHER Dem!!

    wow. They are going to be ALL OVER the place in 08!!


    January 30, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. mike

    People are getting worried that when Hillary becomes president, the ol' boys club will be no more... No wonder all these old men are starting to endorse Obama, they are grasping...

    January 30, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. NoVA Dem

    Start practicing this: "Congressman Connolly."

    January 30, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  7. goldeneye

    see ya...and take Darth "Nader" with you! Go to another galaxy far, far away.....

    January 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. EB Rideout, Georgia

    Heh, heh.

    Another one abandons ship just before the lifeboats are full.

    January 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. GW in DC

    ...and the Davis Bill that was to help grant 550,000 Washington, DC citizens voting rights dies for good.

    Thanks for your work Ms. Norton.

    January 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Mortneson

    Thanks to John McCain all these rogue rats are joining their corrupt pals. McCain’s campaign finance reform bill/law is driving all the rogue republican congressman and women to the lobbying firms. Since, the campaign finance law restricts them from collecting the millions of dollars in soft money; they decided to join one of America’s organized crime families the Washington lobbyist. No more free money or free expensive trips. Go steal it like a real lobbyist.

    January 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. SMFD

    Will someone explain to me how a Congressman who votes with dubya over 90% of the time is a moderate?

    January 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Jay Lowe

    He will make a lot more money pillaging for the K-Street lobbyists.Go Tom Go.

    January 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Wayne, Greenville TX

    As Queen so aptly put it....

    Ba-da-dum-dum-dum –
    Another One Bites The Dust
    Ba-da-dum-dum-dum –
    Another One Bites The Dust
    And another one down, and another one down
    Another One Bites The Dust.......

    January 30, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Darth Vadik, CA

    Republicans don't do anything for the good of their constituents, they always have some evil thing up their sleeve. My guess is lobbying.


    January 30, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. john Gio

    If the Dems win that seat, it's yet another reason to watch your wallet. Dems already control Congress. They have done absolutely nothing.

    January 30, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Why wait to get a hard boot when you can leave peacefully to become a lobbyist? Smart guy!!!

    January 30, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. john Gio, NYC

    Hey Darth dummy,

    This is America. Lobbying is not illegal. Nor should it be. You are the Left are scary.

    The Dems control Congress. They have done absolutely nothing. How about lowering my taxes, securing the border. Something. Knowing the liberals, they will debate endlessly about some issue concerning the caribou or protecting some oak tree.

    January 30, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  18. joe



    January 30, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. Amy

    We need term limits, so that more Americans may participate in the political process; TEN YEARS MAXIMUM FOR CONGRESSMEN AND TWELVE YEARS MAXIMUM FOR SENATORS!

    January 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. dennis

    What a diverse blog!!! It must be nice having everyone you meet thinking and saying the same thing. You will get your wish, after 08, the Dems will control all the levers of power in Washington... Pretty soon the entire country will look like California... (Our Governor is not a Republican).

    I can't wait

    January 30, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  21. Ron

    Clinton Scams Millions $$$$$$$

    Open your PC front page.

    In the web search bar type in, " Clinton Donors Overlap " Press Search.

    Read the 10 Minute “New York Times” article.

    Bill Clinton”
    How to scam, Con and Steal and get away with it legally.

    Thanks, Ringneck11

    January 30, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |