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Jack Davis was a Democratic candidate in the 2008 congressional elections for the 26th Congressional District (map) of New York. He was seeking the Democratic nomination to replace retiring incumbent Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), but lost a primary to Alice Kryzan on September 9, 2008.
Davis was born in 1933 in Amherst, N.Y. He graduated from the University of Buffalo with a B.S. in Engineering in 1955. Davis joined the Marine Corps Reserve while in college, and eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant.
Davis worked as a maintenance engineer for Chevrolet and as a sales engineer at Carborundum, before starting his own company in 1964. It began in his garage; it eventually made him a millionaire.  He still owns the company, I Squared R Element Company, which makes special heating elements for electric furnaces. It is the only remaining U.S. firm that manufactures silicon carbide heating elements. Davis is married, with six children and thirteen grandchildren.
Decision to leave the Republican Party
Davis was a self-described "Goldwater Republican" for 50 years. In late 2003, he purchased two tickets to a $1,000-a-plate Republican fundraiser in Buffalo, attended by Vice President Dick Cheney. Davis insisted on talking to the Vice President about U.S. free trade policies, which Cheney's staff refused to allow. 
Following a moderately heated dispute, Cheney staff members ordered Davis to be ejected from the fundraiser. Davis then quit the Republican Party. The incident also caused some embarrassment for Cheney's staff after an audio recording of the conversation between Davis and one Cheney staffer was played on a local radio station.
2004 congressional campaign
In 2004, Davis officially entered politics, running as a Democrat for the U.S. Congress from the 26th District of New York. He ran against incumbent Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), who was considered unbeatable. Davis doubled his original commitment to the race, pouring a total of $1.2 million dollars of personal money into his campaign. Reynolds was forced to begin running campaign ads for the first time since his election in 1998.
On election day, Reynolds won, 56% to 44%; in contrast, he won the 2002 election 75% to 25% against the Democratic challenger. After the election, Davis was fined for a violation of campaign finance reporting laws. Davis had used his non-profit "Save Jobs" organization to funnel money into his political efforts, failing to comply with political disclosure requirements of both the federal government and New York State.
Save Jobs Party
Following his defeat in 2004, Davis continued his political activism by forming his own political party, the Save Jobs Party. While Republicans accused him of using the party merely as a springboard for a 2006 rematch, Davis sponsored more than a dozen candidates for public office in races across Western New York. However, the Save Jobs party soon ran into trouble with state and federal officials.
In one incident, an Erie County Legislator sought an FBI investigation following last-minute phone calls impersonating the unpopular County Executive made from Davis's campaign headquarters.  In another, Davis's Deputy Executive Director and Chair of his state PAC took a plea deal in a petition fraud case involving Davis's party. In early 2006, Davis's state PAC was sued in State Supreme Court for failing to file required disclosure documents. Later that year, Davis abandoned the fledgling party.
2006 congressional campaign
Meet the Cash Constituents
- Summary campaign contribution data from the Center for Responsive Politics on their Open Secrets Ny-26 election profile page
- Detailed campaign contribution data from the Federal Elections Commission for Jack Davis
Committees and Affiliations
More Background Data
Campaign contact information
Toll Free: 1-800-563-8133
Mail: PO Box 2006
12600 Clarence Center Road
Akron, New York 14001
Articles and Resources
- Jack Davis for Congress, official campaign site.