Davis, the mayor of Southaven, said he basically told national Republican Party officials to butt out this time.
“We’re not going to run the type of campaign they want us to run,” Davis said bluntly, when asked about the national party’s involvement.
Davis said he has been focusing on “meet and greet” events throughout the sprawling North Mississippi district. He says he has campaigned little in DeSoto County, his home base. Instead he has been focusing on the more rural parts of the district that lie outside the Memphis metro area.
And, after he came across in the earlier election as a rabid partisan willing to kneecap his opponent at any opportunity, Davis knew he needed to make amends.
“Everywhere we went for the first three months, we said, ‘We’re sorry,'” Davis said. “We made a mistake. We apologized for the mud we threw.”
Davis is also trying to discredit the notion that he’s a Republican drone who’s unwilling to buck the party line.
For example, Davis said he has taken stands as a mayor that were at odds with the state’s Republican governor. But Davis also insists that he really isn’t a changed man because people are now seeing him as the person he has really always been.
The problem for Davis is that he may have waited too long to attempt this transformation of his public image.