Davis to leave House

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), a longtime and staunch advocate of federal technology and procurement policy, announced today he will not run for an eighth term.

“After much soul-searching and discussion with those closest to me, I have decided the time is right to take a sabbatical from public life,”
Davis
said in a statement. “I will serve out the remainder of my term, and plan to remain an active contributor to Republican causes, but will not run for office in 2008.”


Davis
’ decision was first reported by the Washington Post.

He added that he has not decided what to do next, but “it’s clear to me that returning to the private sector and reacquainting myself with that view of the world is the best move for me and my family.” He has spent 14 years in Congress.


Davis
considered not running in 2006, and it was reported that he was looking at a job with a business association.
Davis
also seriously looked at running for Senate in 2007 but decided not to.

“I want to emphasize that I am not closing the door on future public service, but after 29 years in office, winning 11 elections, I think it is time for a respite,”
Davis
said.


 


"I was a little surprised he stepped down," said Bob Dix, who worked with
Davis
on Capitol Hill and in local government. "Tom is a great legislator and very effective. He is good at achieving consensus and finding common ground. I think he also enjoyed it and I’m a little surprised, but can appreciate the frustration he may be feeling on a number of fronts."


Dix, who now is vice president for government affairs at Juniper Networks, said
Davis
will be missed in many ways that go beyond technology and procurement issues. Dix said Davis' impact has been on education, voting rights in
Washington
and several other issues.


But the IT and procurement areas don't have a lot of members who care enough to focus on them.
Davis
has earned a reputation as one of the few, if not only, members of Congress to understand procurement and technology issues. He authored several key legislations, including the Federal Information Security Management Act and the E-Government Act of 2003, and pushed for further security and privacy laws. He also helped hold agencies’ feet to the fire by issuing IT security report cards each spring.


Davis
also is considered a moderate and a friend of federal employees on issues such as telework and competing federal jobs with the private sector.


"I hope others will step up to carry the torch on behalf of procurement and IT issues," Dix said. "Those will be big shoes to fill in the absence of a man who is an expert on these issues and brought many of these expertise to the local and national levels."


 


"Tom has shown a remarkable ability to blend the federal workforce and good government with the understanding of the role business plays and how to balance the three," said Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council. "He has tremendous credibility on both sides of the aisle because he balances competing interests. His leadership will be missed."


Soloway added that
Davis
thought strategically on a number of issues such as acquisition workforce, training and procurement reform, and he always was balanced and thoughtful on all of them.


"
Davis
has developed depth that will be hard to replace," Soloway said. "Others have shown interest in procurement or technology, but finding someone to to meld all these pieces will be difficult."


Soloway said he wasn't surprised
Davis
decided to step down, but he hoped he wouldn't.


"I've heard he struggled with his decision," he added.


Phil Bond, president and chief executive officer of the Information Technology Association of America, also praised
Davis
for his work.

“Tom Davis has been the ultimate champion for technology in Congress, particularly when it comes to bringing private-sector innovation to public service,” Bond said. “He has helped to tear down the wall between the federal government and commercial technologies.”



 


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