Northern Virginia Republican Congressman Tom Davis is hinting he will not run for U.S. Senate next year.
At a National Press Club event, Davis said he’s aware that Democrat Mark Warner has already raised over a million dollars, less than three weeks after entering the race and that the Virginia GOP has opted for a nominating convention next year, a move that would probably favor former Governor Jim Gilmore.
Yet, Davis has indicated ambitions to try again in four years for freshman Representative Jim Webb’s seat with his previous experience en tote.
“There are other races; this isn’t the only shot,” Davis said at a National Press Club event, You’ve got a very vulnerable guy sitting there in the other Senate seat right now who may or may not run in four years. And you know what? If you don’t go the Senate, so what? I’ve been a committee chairman in the House. I’ve got my portrait hanging on a wall. I’ve been pretty productive legislatively.”
In other words, now that the Virginia has picked a nominating process that Davis knows he can’t win, it suddenly seems pretty comfy in the House of Representatives.
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“There are other races; this isn’t the only shot,” Davis said. “You’ve got a very vulnerable guy sitting there in the other Senate seat right now who may or may not run in four years. And you know what? If you don’t go to the Senate, so what? I’ve been a committee chairman in the House. I’ve got my portrait hanging on a wall. I’ve been pretty productive legislatively.”
There have been rumblings of late that Davis is having second thoughts about running, but he insists his mind was never made up.
The centrist former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee said he thinks he can win a convention dominated by conservative party activists, but he said he would have no name ID coming out of it in June, with just five months till the general election.
A Washington Post poll last week showed 54 percent of Virginia voters have no opinion of Davis. It also showed both Davis and Gilmore trailing Warner by at least 30 points.
“Our calculation has been that, if you can get everything in line, it’s a doable race,” Davis said. “But if I have to spend eight months slogging through a party convention, talking to 15,000 Republicans around the state where they’re going to ask you how conservative you are, that does not set you up very well for a general election.”
He said the No. 1 roadblock right now, however, is the continually toxic environment that Republicans face. At the same time, he stressed that a lot can change in a year or even when a new GOP presidential candidate is chosen in early 2008.
Davis has said he will make a decision about the race in November, following Virginia’s state legislative elections. And he reiterated that promise Tuesday.
“A good environment and a strong campaign — I’ll take that any day,” he said. “Mark is certainly not bulletproof, but he has a good reputation and he’s riding high” because he left office popular in 2006 and hasn’t had to take issue positions since then.
Yea, but are you the guy to beat him ?