Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA)

Tom DavisTom Davis is a former Republican congressman for the state of Virginia. He served seven terms and authored more than 100 bills that became law. He was also the first freshman in 50 years to be given a subcommittee chairmanship, taking the gavel of the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia. Throughout his tenure in Congress, he was widely recognized as a skilled legislator, an honest broker, and a political mastermind. He is known for his encyclopedic knowledge of political minutia, often lecturing members of Congress on the electoral history of their own districts. He is also the co-author, with Congressman Martin Frost (D-TX) of The PARTISAN DIVIDE: Congress in Crisis, which looks at how to solve the gridlock in Washington.

Political History. Davis was first elected to office in 1979, winning a hard-fought campaign for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. This would be the first of 14 straight victories, a winning streak spanning three decades. In 1993, after spending 12 years as the Mason District supervisor, he defeated the incumbent chairman of the county board, taking the top elected office in Fairfax County, Virginia. Despite a severe economic downturn and a county budget deep in the red, he was able to implement a number of reforms that resulted in Fairfax being named the best managed county in the country by Governing Magazine. It was also ranked first financially by City and State magazine in their list of “Top 50 Counties.” In 1994, Davis successfully won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Davis earned national recognition as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2000 and 2002, when he was instrumental in maintaining his party’s majority in the House of Representatives. After the 2002 election, he was named chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, gaining national prominence once again by chairing hearings on the use of performance enhancing substances in professional sports. Other notable accomplishments include his hard-hitting but objective report on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina; his sponsorship of legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco; passage of the National Capital Transportation Amendments Act, which authorized much needed capital reinvestment in the Washington Metro system; and legislation related to cyber crimes.