It looks like former Democratic U.S. Rep. Artur Davis‘ dream of switching back to his old party after a flirtation with the GOP are dashed, at least for this cycle.
A Mountgomery County judge dismissed Davis’ complaint against the Alabama Democratic Party, which denied his petition to re-join the party last week.
A state party rule called the Radney Rule requires approval from the Executive Board of the Alabama Democratic Party for any candidate who wishes to switch back after going over to the Republican side of the aisle.
Davis’ suit alleged discrimination, as several other Democrats-turned-Republicans have been welcomed back into the Democratic fold. The Harvard-educated former congressman and assistant United States Attorney is the first candidate in more than three decades to have been denied under the rule.
Davis was seeking a Democratic bid for the Montgomery County Commission, but without the party’s approval, he will not have a “D” next to his name during Alabama’s March primaries.
Judge Thomas Hobbs called Davis a “prodigal son” in his ruling, as said the board that denied his petition was well within its discretion to decide it was not in their best interest to allow Davis to run against more thoroughgoing Democrats.
Aside from switching his party registration, Davis toyed with the idea of running as a Republican for Congress in Virginia, penned editorials for the conservative National Review, and even addressed the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Davis said he would quickly file an appeal to the state’s high court.
“We have always felt that the Alabama Supreme Court would have to be the court that resolved this issue,” said Davis in a statement. “Because the Democratic Party has applied a rule to me they have never applied to anyone else, there is obviously no case law that is directly applicable. It will fall on the Alabama Supreme Court to decide if a party can have one set of rules for one person and another set for everyone else.”
Whether he would pursue an independent candidacy should that petition also be denied is not yet clear.