Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign today released a list of endorsements and statewide Virginia co-chairs to server under honorary state chairman, Tom Davis.
Joining Davis on the leadership team is his wife, former Senator Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis, and statewide co-chairs Sen. Emmett Hanger, Del. Glenn Davis, Del. Chris Peace, and Del. Ron Villanueva.
The former Congressman brings entry for Kasich into the Northern Virginia business community, where Davis has maintained strong ties since his retirement from Congress at the end of his last term in January 2009. He is known for a pragmatic approach to politics, and has long engaged in the praiseworthy effort to help the Republican Party effectively engage with increasingly important ethnic voting blocs in Northern Virginia. (We hope he’s pleased by the progress that’s been made on that score recently).
Picking Davis to lead one’s presidential effort, though, is a bit of a head-scratcher. While he certainly has a strong base of support in certain quarters of Northern Virginia, Davis nonetheless remains unpopular with much of the party’s broader mainstream conservative base.
Davis has been harshly critical of conservatives, and is aligned with the Republican Main Street Partnership, an organization he formerly led. The Main Street Partnership’s mission is to drive conservatives out of the party in favor of more “pragmatic” and “moderate” voices, like that of Tom Davis himself. More can be found about these efforts here and here.
So, like I said, a curious choice in a primary in a state where the candidate already has some issues with conservatives. But, I know some very good Republicans backing Governor Kasich, and he does bring substantial gravity to a campaign that at times that more closely resembles a goat rodeo than a serious effort to choose the next president of the United States. We wish him luck!