Artur Davis: Southern Dems Should Think About Running As Independents

Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), who is leaving Congress after a failed run in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, has an interesting suggestion for moderate Democratic politicians in the wake of the party’s near-total wipeout in the South: Forget the Dems, run as an independent.

As The Hill reports:

Southern voters “see the Democratic Party as a liberal institution that wants to spend their money recklessly, that doesn’t honor their social values and that has a very different view of the world,” said Alabama Rep. Artur Davis (D).

“It’s hard for local Democratic candidates to break clear of that,” Davis added. “Some [of those candidates] who are thinking about competing in the South may have to look at running as Independents.”

Davis’s idea would make for an interesting scenario — what if a House election ended with no single party having a majority of seats, and a bunch of Southern independents holding the balance of power and able to extract various policy concessions (and pork for their districts)? Then again, if they all voted to organize with the Dems, the voters would just catch on after a while.

Davis gave up his safe Democratic House seat this year in order to run for governor, but lost the Democratic primary after voting against health care reform and otherwise distancing himself from the national Democrats and African-American organizations. The Democratic nominee, state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, then lost in November to Republican Robert Bentley.