Candidate in Republican House primary leaning on withdrawing after learning he's actually a Democrat

03/25/2014 01:51 PM

Craig Davis, a candidate in the Republican primary for the 18th state House district, got a shock Monday when he went down to the Grayson County courthouse and found out he was, indeed, a registered Democrat.

Davis told Pure Politics he was unaware of his registration to the Democratic Party until he received a call from a reporter with the Grayson County News Gazette , who first reported on the potential problems Davis could face because of his registration.

Kentucky state law says a candidate must be eligible to vote in the primary for the office they seek. So Davis would be ineligible for the office because, in Kentucky, a citizen only can vote in the primary of the party of which he or she is registered.

So Davis is strongly considering dropping out of the 18th District race out of respect to the party. If he does not, he could face a challenge of his candidacy which Davis says he would understand.

“They would have every right to challenge it,” Davis told Pure Politics in a phone interview. “I understand and respect that when rules are written, they need to be followed. That is part of our democracy.”

Davis said he was upset to find out that he had made the mistake when filling out his registration in 2009 but said he does not blame anyone but himself for what he calls a “clerical error.” Davis said he filled out a new registration form as soon as he found out to make sure he was registered as a Republican from now on.

Davis, who is running on a pro-liberty and Christian values platform , said he has not been a Democrat since he was in his 20s and was seen as the “black sheep” of then staunchly Democratic family for the party switch. Davis said he is just more drawn to Republican values.

As for why he wanted to challenge incumbent Republican Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown, in the first place, Davis noted concerns that Moore has not previously represented Davis’ hometown of Leitchfield until the area was placed in Moore’s district when legislators re-drew the maps last year.

“With all due respect to Mr. Moore, I did not elect him,” Davis said. “We elected C.B. Embry to represent us until 2015. We didn’t elect him in so we would like someone from our area to represent us.”

Moore told Pure Politics Tuesday he had never heard of some being mistaken about their own party affiliation but said that Mr. Davis will have to decide for himself what he will do about the race.

“Ironically, the number of legitimate Republicans in my race seems to be dwindling very quickly,” Moore joked.

If he does decide to withdraw, Davis said he would prefer that Republican candidate Stephen Meredith , a retired hospital administrator who is also from Grayson County, to represent the district rather than Moore.

Davis said he was “looking to God” to make his decision but he felt it was probably the right thing to do.

About Pure Politics

Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.

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