You Won't Have Artur Davis to Kick Around Anymore...

Because he's bowing out for good:


"I have no interest in running for political office again," Davis said. "The voters spoke in a very decisive way across every sector and in every section of the state. A candidate that fails across-the-board like that obviously needs to find something else productive to do with his life." Davis blamed himself for his shocking loss. 

He took 38 percent of the vote Tuesday to Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks' 62 percent.

Read the whole story it has some really good quotes. The Birmingham News is now reporting that Davis is the first black candidate in a statewide Alabama race to lose the black vote. From what I can tell, they don't have exit polls yet. But the county by county data definitely backs their case. 

I'll be interested to see where Davis ends up in about a year or so. It has to be stinging, in a state like Alabama, to basically be told you have no political base among black or white voters. Issues aside, it has to personally hurt when your folks reject you. Once that sting fades though, I wonder if Davis will get the old bug. He had every right to vote against the health care bill--just as the people had every right to judge him on that vote.

There's also something else--you can't summon up the future. Had Davis run a different campaign, he might well be the Democratic nominee. But I really wonder if a state like Alabama is actually ready for black governor. But then what do I know. Five years ago I was telling everyone the country wasn't ready for a black president.

Again though, my hope is that this is last we hear of black voters seeing "black guy" and pulling the lever. The folks take their votes very seriously, and imagine there are still some around in Alabama with long memories of how those votes were won, and thus take them extra seriously. When people have been killed in order for you to go to the polls, "look out for a brother" just don't cut it.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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