Jo Ann Davis died at her home in Gloucester today after a battle with breast cancer, according to a statement on her official Web site. She was 57. Davis, R-1st District, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and had a recurrence earlier this year. She had been receiving treatment at Duke University.
"Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis made history when she became the first female Republican elected to the House of Representatives from the commonwealth in 2000," Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, said in a statement. "She inspired Virginians as she battled breast cancer while continuing to serve the commonwealth." Before Congress, Davis served four years in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Another tendency on the part of Davis is to foster legislative extremism by waxing gaga over constitutional amendments. During the last session of Congress, Davis co-sponsored amendments to prohibit the desecration of the flag, to restore religious freedom, to ban gay marriage, to outlaw real and virtual child pornography, to make English the official language and to balance the budget.
Returning to her religious roots, Davis is ever on the warpath against gays, and, in addition to the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, sponsored a bill of her own that would define marriage in Washington, DC as consisting of the union of one man and one woman. As for the amendment to “restore religious freedom,” it is nothing more than a feeble attempt to enable such sanctimonious bloviators as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to get the IRS off their backs when they openly endorse political candidates from the pulpit.