Davis: So long, commissioners - maybe next Congress
Democrat Bruce Davis of High Point made it official Wednesday — he wants to exchange his seat at the table of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners for a place in the halls of Congress.
“The time has come for me to seek another office,” said Davis, who has served as a commissioner for 12 years and will relinquish his seat to run for the 6th Congressional District. Rep. Howard Coble, R-6th, announced last November that he’s retiring this year for health reasons. Coble will turn 83 in March.
Davis made his announcement at the old Guilford County Courthouse in downtown Greensboro, joined by his wife, Angela Davis, and more than two dozen supporters. The 56-year-old native of High Point, who grew up in a city public housing complex, said that he’ll highlight issues such as education, advocacy for teachers and support for senior citizens and military veterans.
“This is our opportunity to get it right,” said Davis, who served in the Marine Corps and now runs a child-care center in High Point.
Davis becomes the second Democrat to enter the 6th Congressional District contest. Earlier this week, Democratic hopeful Laura Fjeld of Orange County, who started actively campaigning last year, announced that she has raised more than $275,000 since mid-August.
Davis told reporters that so far he’s raised $8,000 to $9,000, acknowledging he’ll need to step up his fundraising.
“We have a long way to go, but we’re up to the challenge,” said Davis, who said he’s not ready at this point to specify a fundraising goal for his campaign.
The Democratic and Republican 6th District nominees will be picked by voters in the May 6 primary, with the two candidates squaring off in the Nov. 4 general election. At least a half a dozen Republicans are running in the 6th District, including Don Webb, a U.S. Navy veteran and former chairman of the High Point Republican Party.
Political analysts call the 6th District a conservative-leaning one. Two years ago, Coble retained the seat with 61 percent of the vote against Democratic challenger Tony Foriest, a former state legislator from Alamance County. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took 58 percent of the vote in the district in 2012 against Democratic President Barack Obama.
But Davis said he thinks the district, which has more registered Democratic than Republican voters, will be more competitive in an open race without Coble on the ballot.
Davis will serve as a commissioner through this year. He said that he’s been approached by a couple of potential candidates who might seek his District 1 commissioner seat, though he’s not releasing any names. However, Davis left open the possibility that he might endorse a Democratic candidate to succeed him on the Board of Commissioners.
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Personal: 56, married to Angela Boyce Davis; five children and one granddaughter, native of High Point
Professional: Served 25 years in the Marine Corps, was a noncommissioned officer; founder and president of Kid Appeal Learning Center, a child-care center on Greensboro Road in High Point
Political: First elected to District 1 on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners as a Democrat in 2002, served as board chairman in 2006.
Education: Graduate of High Point Central High School and Guilford Technical Community College; also graduated from Marine Corps
Staff Noncommissioned Officers Academy.
Civic: Has served on numerous High Point, Guilford County and regional boards, including High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau, High Point Market Authority; the War Memorial Foundation, Carolina Field of Honor. Member of Toussaint L’Ouverture Masonic Lodge of High Point, the Marine Corps League 260 of Greensboro and the Disabled American Veterans Association.