Jeannemarie Devolites Davis

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Jeannemarie Devolites Davis
Jeannemarie Devolites Davis.jpg
Date of primaryMay 18, 2013
Candidate for
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Prior offices
Director of the Virginia Liaison Office
Virginia State Senate
Virginia House of Delegates
High schoolYorktown High School (1974)
Bachelor'sUniversity of Virginia (1978)
Place of birthEngland
Personal website
Campaign website
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Jeannemarie Devolites Davis is a Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the 2013 elections.[1]


Davis was born on an American Air Force base in the United Kingdom. At age 10, Davis' family relocated to Arlington, Virginia, where she and her three younger siblings attended public schools. Davis graduated from Yorktown High School in 1974 and remained in state to pursue a bachelor's in mathematics at the University of Virginia. She earned her degree in 1978, and worked as a statistician for the Administrative Offices of the U.S. Courts, a continuation of work she had done during her summer vacations at the University of Virginia, until deciding to start a family. She has four daughters. Davis decided to run for public office as a state legislator in 1997.


  • Yorktown High School (1974)
  • Bachelor's degree in Mathematics - University of Virginia (1978)

Political career

Director of the Virginia Liaison Office (2010-2012)

In 2010, Davis was appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to serve as director of the Virginia Liaison Office in Washington, D.C.. She resigned the post before declaring her bid for governor.[2]

Virginia Senate (2003-2007)

In 2003, Davis was elected the only female Republican member of the Virginia State Senate. She served a single term, from 2003 to 2007, having run unsuccessfully for re-election in 2007. While serving in the state Senate, Davis was a member of the following committees:

  • Privileges and Elections Committee
  • General Laws and Technology Committee
  • Transportation Committee
  • Social Services and Rehabilitation Committee
  • Rules Committee
Subcommittee on Studies, Chair[3]

Virginia House of Delegates (1997-2002)

Davis was first was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1997 by voters from the legislative district covering portion the Town of Vienna, Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. She was re-elected twice, and in her third term, her Republican colleagues voted her Majority Whip.



See also: Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2013

Davis is running for election to the office of Lieutenant Governor. She is seeking the Republican nomination for the state executive seat, which will be opened in 2013 because incumbent Bill Bolling (R) decided not to run for re-election.

The Republican Party of Virginia is holding a closed primary convention on May 17-18, 2013 to nominate its candidates for governor, lt. governor, and attorney general. The candidate in each field who receives the highest number of delegate votes at the convention will advance to the November 5, 2013 general election.

Race background

Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling (R) did not seek re-election in 2013. Nine candidates filed to fill the imminently-open executive seat, including two Democrats and seven Republicans. State Sen. Ralph Northam defeated Aneesh Chopra for the Democratic Party's nomination for lieutenant governor in the June 11 primary election.[4] Northam's general election opponent was Republican E.W. Jackson. Jackson was nominated by delegates of the Virginia Republican Party at the party-funded statewide primary convention on May 17-18.[5] Northam and Jackson faced off in the Nov. 5, 2013 general election, and Northam won by a margin of over 10 percentage points.[6]

When Virginia voters elected Democrat L. Douglas Wilder, the grandson of slaves, as its 66th Governor in 1989, it was the first time an African-American was elected to the office in the nation's history.[7] Given the state's heritage of trailblazing, it is notable that until Jackson's convention victory, Virginia Republicans had not nominated an African-American for any statewide office since backing Maurice Dawkins' a quarter of a century ago.[8]

A minister at a non-denominational church and relatively new member of the Republican Party, Jackson edged out six primary opponents by emphasizing his commitment to hallmark conservative issues such as smaller government, gun rights and traditional family values. He appealed to the delegation with the promise, "We will not only win an election in November, we will open the hearts and minds of our people and save this commonwealth and save this country."[9]

Regardless of his post-convention promise, Jackson was an unwelcome choice for the state's Republican establishment from the start, thanks to his refusal to divert from, or soften the rhetoric of, his "liberty agenda." The agenda contained the issues mentioned above, none of which were earth-shattering stances for a conservative; Jackson was anti-Obamacare, pro-Second Amendment and anti-federal overreach. His approach to delivering these messages, however, rose more concerns - as well as eyebrows - from the party than was originally anticipated. In August, Jackson referred to the Democratic Party as the "anti-God party" because of its supportive position on same-sex marriage and abortion, cementing his reputation for being impermeable to warnings about how his often inflammatory rhetoric might alienate swing voters or more moderate Republican voters heading into the general election. Then on Sept. 4, The Washington Post reported that his independent streak also extended to his behind the scenes campaign style. After securing the nomination in May, Jackson had not taken advantage of the Virginia Republican Party's massive pool of campaign resources. He declined offers to utilize the party's voter databases and related logistical tools in addition to field office venues across the state- a "virtually unheard-of forfeiture of resources for a statewide candidate."[10]

On the Democratic end, Northam, a pediatric neurologist who was first elected to the state legislature's upper chamber in 2008, wanted to win the lt. governor's office in order to restore Democratic control over the state senate. His campaign focused on improving education and creating jobs in energy efficiency, in addition to reversing the direction the Republican leadership had taken the state on women's health issues. "Their crusades to shut down reproductive health centers and to mandate costly and invasive medical procedures for women seeking abortions have embarrassed the Commonwealth, and have inserted government between doctors and their patients."[11][12]

The final campaign finance reporting cycle prior to the general election showed Northam maintaining an ample fundraising lead over Jackson, adding to the consistent edge he had shown in the polls. Jackson's remarkable refusal to accept assistance from the Republican Party had no doubt hindered him from overtaking Northam in money and/or voter support. His proven difficulties adhering to the state board of elections' filing protocols, having twice needed to amend his documentation of loans or donations, likewise boded unfavorably for the GOP nominee heading into the home stretch of what was an ultimately unsuccessful campaign.[13][14]


Davis resides in Arlington, Virginia. She and husband Tom Davis, a former U.S. House Representative, have four daughters.[15]

See also

External links

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