Davis' departure leaves void

The government contractor community will lose a key advocate when Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) retires at the end of the year, reports The Washington Post.

Davis has represented Virginia's 11th Congressional District for 14 years. The district includes a number of federal contractors based in Fairfax County. His departure leaves a void for many executives who have relied on Davis to look out for their companies' interests.

"He understood the industry, but at the same time, he was a moderate politician and a steady influence," said William C. Hoover, chief executive of American Systems Corp.

Hoover met Davis in 1980 at a company that has become part of Northrop Grumman Corp. "He put a very positive face on the industry . . . and let people know that folks in the private sector weren't going to run away when the going got tough."

Davis, a lawyer, was elected in 1994, as the government was starting to rely more heavily on contractors. With leadership roles in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he was known among local executives for going to bat for contractors and holding them to high standards.

Davis is succeeded by Democrat Gerald E. Connolly, who also is an industry insider. He has served as chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for the past five years and currently works part time as vice president of community relations for contracting firm SAIC.

Donna G. Morea, chairwoman of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, and president of CGI, said she hopes Connolly will follow Davis's lead in forging relationships with fellow Virginia Reps. Frank R. Wolf, (R) and James P. Moran (D), who also play integral roles in representing the contracting community on Capitol Hill.

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