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  Virginia's Davis a Well-Funded Mystery for '08
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ContributorThe Sunset Provision 
Last EditedThe Sunset Provision  Dec 12, 2007 09:45pm
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MediaWebsite - Yahoo News
News DateThursday, December 13, 2007 03:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionVirginia Republican Rep. Thomas M. Davis III has yet to announce whether he will run for an eighth term next year in the state's 11th District. But Davis has stimulated speculation about his intentions by scheduling a political fundraiser for Wednesday.

Aides to Davis said he does not plan to announce his 2008 decision at the event, but some Davis supporters see the fundraiser as a sign they should keep the faith.

The fundraiser -- to be held at the Vienna, Va., home of Geoff Pohanka, president of a local chain of auto dealerships -- is the first for his House campaign treasury since Davis' announcement in October that he would not run next year for the Senate seat left open by retiring five-term Republican John W. Warner. Davis' decision to pass up the statewide race, for which he had appeared to be preparing for years, came in the wake of the first of two big political disappointments that he endured this fall.

That first hit was the decision by the state Republican Party to choose its Senate nominee next spring in a convention rather than a primary. Davis had a much better chance of securing the nomination in a primary, open to voters of all ideological stripes, than a convention dominated by conservative activists, expected to strongly favor conservative former Gov. Jim Gilmore. With Davis out of the running, Gilmore is now viewed as the near-certain Republican nominee.

The second setback for Davis came on in the state's off-year election Nov. 6, when his wife, Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, was defeated in her bid for re-election to the state Senate.

Davis, who turns 59 years old on Jan. 5, spurred some rumblings that he might retire when he declined to attend an annual state Republican Party late-year meeting, known as the Advance, in early December. Davis' campaign Web site has not been updated since September.

Yet Wednesday's fundraising will add to an already ample treasury that Davis can tap should he run again. He had more than $1 millio
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