Davis will not run for seventh term
- By Jason Miller
- Jan 30, 2008
Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), a longtime and staunch advocate of federal technology and procurement policy, announced today he will not run for a seventh term.
"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 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' decision was first reported by the Washington Post.
He added that he has not decided what to do next, but "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." He has spent 14 years in Congress.
Davis considered not running in 2006, and it was reported that he was looking at a job with a business association. Davis also seriously looked at running for Senate in 2007 but decided not to.
"I want to emphasize that I am not closing the door on future public service, but after 29 years in office, winning 11 elections, I think it is time for a respite," Davis said.
"I was a little surprised he stepped down," said Bob Dix, who worked with Davis on Capitol Hill and in local government. "Tom is a great legislator and very effective. He is good at achieving consensus and finding common ground. I think he also enjoyed it and I'm a little surprised, but can appreciate the frustration he may be feeling on a number of fronts."
Dix, who now is vice president for government affairs at Juniper Networks, said Davis will be missed in many ways that go beyond technology and procurement issues. Dix said Davis' impact has been on education, voting rights in Washington and several other issues.
But the IT and procurement areas don't have a lot of members who care enough to focus on them.
"I hope others will step up to carry the torch on behalf of procurement and IT issues," Dix said. "Those will be big shoes to fill in the absence of a man who is an expert on these issues and brought many of these expertise to the local and national levels."
Phil Bond, president and chief executive officer of the Information Technology Association of America, praised Davis for his work.
"Tom Davis has been the ultimate champion for technology in Congress, particularly when it comes to bringing private-sector innovation to public service," Bond said. "He has helped to tear down the wall between the federal government and commercial technologies."
Davis has earned a reputation as one of the few, if not only, members of Congress to understand procurement and technology issues. He authored several key legislations, including the Federal Information Security Management Act and the E-Government Act of 2003, and pushed for further security and privacy laws. He also helped hold agencies' feet to the fire by issuing IT security report cards each spring.
Davis also is considered a moderate and a friend of federal employees on issues such as telework and competing federal jobs with the private sector.