Colo. man stumps in county for 2012 campaign

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NEWFANE -- A longshot presidential hopeful, building his candidacy on what he calls sound fiscal accountability and conservative values, stumped in left-leaning Windham County on Monday morning as part of his nationwide tour to win the White House.

John Davis, a 54-year-old businessman from Grand Junction, Colo., came to Vermont, a state that supported Democratic President Barack Obama by a significant margin in 2008, with an oversized wrench painted with stars and stripes as a symbol for his "Let’s fix America" votercade.

"We need a symbol that symbolizes what we need to do in America, and we need to fix it. And it’s going to take a mighty big wrench to fix this country, so I just got a big old 36-inch pipe wrench and colored it," he said.

A political newcomer who describes himself as a self-employed home builder and family man, Davis told the Reformer this country needs someone with business experience to bring down the debt and lead the country back to prosperity.

"Running a government is exactly like running a housing business. We can’t spend more money than we bring in, so we got to create jobs, we got to take care of people ... if you don’t do everything just right in the housing business, you’re out of business," he said.

"What I’m out there hearing right now from the people is they do not want a career politician in the White House no more, or Congress, and they want somebody with business experience," Davis continued. "It seems like everybody talks about the money issues. The debt, the jobs, the gasoline prices, and they are fearful of the future. They don’t know what to think about it."

The conservative Republican is not discouraged by his low-profile candidacy -- some of his press stops have only included his staff and family. A stop at the courthouse in Newfane early in the morning yielded few opportunities to speak with everyday Vermonters.

"Up here in the Northeast we haven’t had many come out. We’ve had as many as 120 people, we’ve had as many as zero. It just depends on area, state, time of day, weather, things like that," he said. "And this is a grass-roots movement. When you start from the bottom, there’s only one way to go and that’s up."

"I’m a leader that knows how to roll up my sleeves. I know how to work hard, how to put a good team together, and how to be effective," he said. "I am the guy that has what it takes to make the tough decisions and to get the job done. I have what it takes to be the President of the United States of America."

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Davis’ votercade drove through Iowa, where the majority of the major GOP candidates have stumped as the 2012 presidential elections have already commenced. Front-runner Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, holds a lead in most of the straw polls.

A political action committee supporting Romney’s bid has raised more than $12 million in his bid for the nomination. "The big boys," as Davis describes high-profile candidates like Romney, have refused to allow him to participate in any debates.

"And so, you know, I’m just going to go to every county in America. Because we don’t have celebrity status or name recognition, we’ll just do something that’s never been done before, and that’s hit every county and talk to as many people as come out," he said.

In a press package sent to the Reformer, Davis lays out a contract to America calling for a balanced budget (he favors a Constitutional amendment to do just that), term limits, less government and more common-sense leadership.

While he supports more border control, he also advocates for work vistas and citizenship to law-abiding immigrants. He also blasts the Obama administration for "diminishing America’s greatness" and notes family and Christian values are "persecuted rather than preserved," according to a document titled "Revive America," included in the media kit.

Explaining his statement, Davis said the Founding Fathers fashioned early laws after ones in the Bible and, getting back to modern times, the people he has spoken to say "We need to get God back into this country."

Davis began his campaign in January and has visited more than 900 counties in nearly 30 states. He made it his goal to visit each county in the United States to speak with citizens about "fixing the nation."

The campaign opened in Newfane on Monday morning before heading west to Bennington. Davis’ bus continued south to Massachusetts for stops in Greenfield, Worcester, Cambridge, Salem, Boston, Dedham, Taunton and Plymouth.

Just about a third of the way into the tour, Davis heads to Rhode Island and Connecticut before continuing west to New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Chris Garofolo can be reached at cgarofolo@reformer.com or 802-254-2311 ext. 275.


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