MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery native and longtime politician Artur Davis has officially announced that he'll run for office to become the next mayor of the state's capital city. Davis made the official announcement on Thursday in a video he posted to YouTube. You can watch that video below (or on a mobile device at THIS LINK.)
Davis made no secret of the fact that he's considering running. In December, he launched an exploratory committee website to focus on "core Montgomery issues" and to "provide positive solutions". Davis launched the site as "a platform to gather ideas and feedback from any Montgomery citizen who wants to see this city and community become what our city deserves to be."
The former District 7 Congressman met with community leaders through the end of 2014 with the intention of announcing his plans on a run in early 2015. He says he told Mayor Todd Strange, who also announced a re-election bid Thursday, a week ago that he has much respect for him.
"I know what I am up against in taking him on," Davis says. "But a child born off Day Street who ends up going to Harvard, a kid who used to go the old Cleveland Avenue library to read about history and ended up being a congressman, has no excuse to run from a fight just because it's hard. I have this belief that a skinny kid with big glasses who grew up in Ridgecrest can still be the Mayor of the City of Montgomery, and I will spend the next eight months fighting everyday for your trust."
Davis addressed Montgomery's Democrats and African-American voters, "I ask you – you twice elected a Republican named Todd Strange – won't you give me the same chance to earn your vote?" Davis has suffered from lack of support in both blocks, especially in his 2010 overwhelming loss to become the Democratic nominee for Governor. Following that loss, Davis moved to Virginia and became a Republican.
And Davis is seeking to bring Republicans under his tent. "Is the spending and the debt in Montgomery the kind of conservative fiscal management that you value?" he asked.
Davis cites "almost 120 murders in this town in three years" in his announcement bid, saying there aren't enough police officers. Speaking as a former federal prosecutor, he lamented that Montgomery has red light cameras, "to catch people who are a few seconds too late to stop, but it sometimes takes a squad car 20 minutes to arrive when your house is broken into?"
Davis says he'll also focus on education, adding, "We have gone backwards when it comes to public education in Montgomery." He made the bold promise to bring schools under city control. "And in four years, if I don't turn these schools around, hold me accountable with your vote."
"Politics is not everything," Davis said when asked about running in July 2014. "I made a decision to get away from it, I made a decision to try to do something else, but the public service bug is still there. Because the public service bug is still there, I've decided to get involved in politics again and this strikes me as a place to do it given my roots in this city."
"Montgomery is at a crossroads," Davis said, in announcing the website, "one that requires dynamic, solution-based leadership. I have no doubt that Montgomery could become the next great city of the South, but our people can't be terrorized by crime, our schools have to be 'first class,' and we have to win the race for the best highest paying jobs. Treading water just isn't good enough."