Greg Davis (Mississippi politician)

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For other persons with these names, see Greg Davis and Charles Davis.

Greg Davis
Greg Davis 2008 campaign headshot.jpg
Mayor of Southaven, Mississippi
In office
Preceded by Joe Cates
Succeeded by Darren Musselwhite
Member of the Mississippi House of Representatives
from the 7th district
In office
Preceded by John Grisham
Succeeded by Wanda Taylor Jennings
Personal details
Born Charles Gregory Davis
(1966-02-22) February 22, 1966 (age 52)[1]
Memphis, Tennessee
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Suzann Davis (married 1991, divorced 2010)
Children Daughters Kendyl, Allie, and Macy
Alma mater Mississippi State University
Profession Engineer, politician

Charles Gregory Davis, known as Greg Davis (born February 22, 1966) is the former mayor of Southaven in northern Mississippi, his state's fourth largest city. He filled the position from 1997 to 2013. He was the Republican Party's nominee for Mississippi's 1st congressional district in the 2008 special and general elections.

Life and career[edit]

Davis was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated from Mississippi State University at Starkville with a degree in Civil Engineering. Upon graduation, he began a career in engineering and consulting.

From 1991 to 1997, Davis served in the Mississippi House of Representatives with assignments to the Appropriations and Public Health committees. He was elected mayor of Southaven in 1997 and won a fourth term in 2009. In 2008, he began a campaign to fill the seat of U.S. Representative Roger Wicker, who had been appointed to the United States Senate following the resignation of Trent Lott.[2] The initial primary was a three-candidate race which resulted in a primary runoff between Davis and former mayor Glenn McCullough of Tupelo. Davis won the runoff and thus became the Republican candidate in the special election.[3]

On June 4, 2013, Davis lost his bid for a fifth term as mayor of Southaven and was succeeded by Darren Musselwhite, effective June 28, 2013.[4]

Congressional elections, 2008[edit]

In the initial special election on April 22 for Mississippi's 1st congressional district, Davis paced second to Democrat Travis Childers, but no candidate received a majority of the vote required to win the seat outright. Childers and Davis then faced each other in a May 13 runoff.[5] Childers defeated Davis, 53.7 to 46.3 percent.

Childers filled the seat until the general election held on November 4, 2008, corresponding with the Obama-McCain presidential contest. As the Republican nominee once more, Davis again faced Childers[6] and again lost, 54 to 44 percent.

Expense abuse investigation[edit]

Following an investigation by state auditors into questionable reimbursements, which included a purchase at Priape, a Toronto shop specializing in homosexual merchandise,[7] on December 15, 2011, Davis publicly acknowledged that he is gay: "At this point in my life and in my career, while I have tried to maintain separation between my personal and public life, it is obvious that this can no longer remain the case. While I have performed my job as mayor, in my opinion, as a very conservative, progressive individual -- and still continue to be a very conservative individual -- I think that it is important that I discuss the struggles I have had over the last few years when I came to the realization that I am gay. The only apology I would make to my supporters if they are upset is the fact that I was not honest enough with myself to be honest with them. But I have lived my life in public service for 20-plus years, and in order for me to remain sane and move on, I have got to start being honest about who I am."[8][9]

In December 2012, Davis was indicted on state charges of embezzlement, false pretense and making fraudulent statements. He was arrested and released on $3,500 bail.[10] He was eventually convicted and sentenced in July 2014 to serve 2 1/2 years in state prison and pay more than $17,000 to the city.[11] In a 2017 retrial, Davis was found not guilty of all charges.[12]

See also[edit]