By Errol Castens
Daily Journal Oxford Bureau
SOUTHAVEN – Greg Davis was anything but conciliatory when he spoke to more than 100 supporters Tuesday night after his defeat at the hands of Travis Childers.
“He may have won the battle, but the war is not over, and come November, we're going to take this district,” he said at his campaign headquarters.
Davis noted his community and his family had suffered serious setbacks during the arduous campaign for District 1 congressman.
“We've had snow, we've had tornadoes, we've had homicides, and my father suffered a severe stroke,” he recounted. “God knows where I need to be for the next five or six months.”
Davis left the stage to share a teary-eyed hug with his father, Gerald, whose unexpected presence had drawn one of the night's biggest cheers.
Returning to the podium, Davis said he would use the intervening time to watch Childers.
“He has had no record to run on, but É there will be votes he will have to take and a record he cannot hide from, and we plan to point that out,” he said.
If Childers doesn't live up to his promises, Davis said, “Rest assured that we'll be there to take (the seat) back from him in November.”
Even before the polls closed, a trickle, then a flow, then a flood of supporters entered Davis' campaign headquarters Tuesday night, hoping for a celebration.
As laptop computers were set up, supporters circulated among them to find the latest election results, reacting at first with trepidation when early returns gave Childers a 20-point lead, then with tentative optimism as DeSoto County results made it close.
Campaign headquarters, a converted restaurant, sported dozens of handmade signs proclaiming “Greg Davis the Right Choice May 13,” “We (heart) Greg” and “Fix Washington – vote Greg Davis.”
Basking in the relief that the end of this initial campaign brought, Davis noted he will return to more usual priorities for a while before gearing up his campaign again.
“Tomorrow I'll go to Southaven City Hall and be mayor,” he said. “I'll focus for a while on my family and my friends.”
Contact Daily Journal Oxford Bureau reporter Errol Castens at 281-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.