Sure bet: Davis will enter race

Published 7:30 pm Monday, February 2, 2009

Cong. Artur Davis of this 7th District is expected to say Friday he’ll run for governor.

This is about the best-kept secret other than the true identity of Santa Claus. Davis started making noises about his intentions last year, even in an interview with this columnist.

He’ll stop at two places on Friday — Birmingham and Montgomery. Ironically, he’ll speak at the Alabama Department of Archives and History Building in Montgomery. If elected, Davis would become the first black governor of Alabama.

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He has the money to mount a good campaign, although he had to run a perfunctory raise for the congressional seat last fall.

For that congressional race Open shows he raised a whopping 65 percent through PACs or political action committees. That amount from PACS translated into $1, 056,669 of the total $1,683,683 raised for the campaign.

The top PAC contributors included $312,749 from the finance, insurance and real estate sector; $161,356 from the health PACs and $100,574 from miscellaneous business. Labor chipped in $89,000 and agribusiness $75,659.

Of the top PAC donors, the insurance industry gave Davis the most money with $101,249. Securities and investment PACs gave the second most with $52,500.

Retail sales dumped the most, $45,000, into Davis’ campaign from the miscellaneous business PACs with Wal-Mart leading the way with $7,500 donation; Target, $5,000; and Limited Brands, $5,000.

Of the health PACS, health professionals contributed $67,000 of the $161,356 total and pharmaceuticals/health products chipped in $50,856.

Davis’ top individual contributor was Maynard Cooper & Gayle, the 170-strong law firm in Birmingham; National Multi Housing Council, $20,000; Bradley Arant et al, $13,723.

Davis spent only $807,628 during his campaign. That’s a pretty big war chest.

We’ll watch and see what happens Friday. But the money is on Davis tossing his hat in the ring.