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Nov. 7 Election

November 9, 2006

Jack Davis: 'Misunderstood Maverick'

Candidate offers frank assessment of his losing effort and Reynolds

The day after a stinging defeat to Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, the self-styled “maverick” Jack Davis had some stinging rebukes and thoughtful critiques of his effort to win New York’s 26th District.

He said he stood by remarks made to reporters after his concession speech, where he criticized Reynolds. He also expressed pride that he “severely injured him” and contributed to Democrats’ success across the nation.

Reynolds, the chair of the Republican National Campaign Committee, was forced to remain in his home district and use resources that might have gone to benefit other Republicans, Davis said.

“In some small way, I can take credit for taking control of the House away from the Republicans,” Davis said.

In his second rebuke from voters in as many elections, Davis said he wouldn’t rule out another run, though he will be 75 when Reynolds next has to defend the seat in two years.

“Everything (in the nation) is screwed up, and they still re-elect the guy,” he said.

He recounted a sad scene at campaign headquarters as the news came across of the slim Reynolds victory, with just a few thousand votes separating them when the final vote was tallied. Some of his staff were in tears at the news.

“I thought I was going to win and we lost,” Davis said. “That’s very depressing. I felt so bad ... for my staff. It was bad. You put a strong face on. This was one battle lost, but we’re going to win the war for the middle class.”

Canisius College political science guru Kevin Hardwick said he was impressed with how much Davis was able to do against an entrenched incumbent with a solid district of base supporters.

“Were it not for the storm, he would have beaten him,” Hardwick said.

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Nov. 7 Election