How Artur Davis Voted While Vying to be Ala.’s 1st Black Gov.

By Daisy Hernandez Jun 01, 2010

If Congressman Artur Davis wins in today’s Alabama primary, he’ll make history becoming the first Black Democratic nominee for governor in a state where George Wallace declared “segregation forever.” But it might not be the victory we were waiting for. Davis’s voting record in Congress indicates that he’s pro-public housing, pro-children’s health, pro-Black farmers, but also anti-abortion, anti-gays, and yes even anti-health care reform. On immigration, he’s mixed, supporting local enforcement of immigration laws but voting at least once against more funding for border security. In short, it’s pretty much what you’d expect of a man running for governor in the Deep South. Davis, who’s represented Alabama’s 7th District since 2003, voted against national health care reform in March, telling reporters at the time that health care could be fixed “without having to do a massive systems overhaul." Months earlier, he’d voted for the Stupak amendment to the health care bill, which would have banned the use of federal dollars for abortion. Critics contend that Davis’s vote against health care was him laying the groundwork to get the support of white voters in Alabama today. Davis has also skipped seeking the support of the state’s civil rights organizations in the primary race, saying he’s going straight to the voters. Maybe he had his white voters in mind last Friday when he failed to show up for the important House vote to repeal the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy—which disproportionately impacts people of color serving in the military.