HILTON HEAD — State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, said Friday he will not run for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Grahams seat or any statewide office in 2014, including governor.
Davis said he can do more good in the state Senate, where he recently gained appointment to powerful committees that include the Senate Finance Committee, a force in shaping the states budget.
I'd be lying if I said it wasnt tempting (to run for Grahams seat), Davis said. But when you get right down to it and realize you have a limited amount of time, a limited amount of energy, and you sit down and figure out where you can make the most difference, its a clear-cut decision. I can make far more of an impact in the (state) Senate.
Davis said he was surprised and thrilled to receive an appointment to the Finance Committee, where he plans to push changes to state formulas for education and road projects.
Looking at the challenges for my county and the things Im working on, being on Senate Finance gives me a chance to not just simply (debate the budget on the Senate floor) and talk about changes that need to happen but to actually make those changes, he said. If I was going to run against Sen. Graham, I'd have to start now raising money full-time and going around the state.
You simply can't do both. Instead, you take care of what's right in front of you.
Speculation has run high since the summer that Davis would run in the GOP primary against Graham. During a Tampa rally for then-presidential contender Ron Paul, Davis blasted Graham and called for the defeat of the states senior senator.
Davis gave the same reasons for not challenging Gov. Nikki Haley, a Lexington Republican, in the GOPs 2014 primary.