Yesterday, Rep. David Davis (R-TN) became the first incumbent Tennessee congressman to “lose in a primary in more than four decades.” He lost to Johnson City, TN Mayor Phil Roe who accused “Davis of selling out to ‘big oil’ by accepting money from industry PACs and backing legislation supporting offshore drilling.” Watch the Roe campaign’s ad:
Throughout his campaign, Davis used common conservative canards to justify his support for Big Oil, falsely claiming that “there is more oil in Colorado than in the entire nation of Saudi Arabia,” and “China is 90 miles off the coast of the U.S. drilling for oil.” Davis, like many other Big Oil advocates, has received thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry this year and has consistently voted with Big Oil’s interests in mind.
This week, Davis returned to the floor of the recessed House with other conservatives to participate in a partisan political stunt demanding a vote on offshore oil drilling.
Conservatives predicted significant gains in the polls as a result of their stunt. The Hill wrote, “House Republicans believe they have struck political gold with American voters.” Instead, Davis’s support for big oil cost him his job.
House Minority Leader John Boehner claims that he is not worried by Davis’s defeat. His rejection, however, could be a warning to those candidates who — in the pursuit of cheap political points — choose to support Big Oil’s profit-driven campaign to expand offshore drilling.