Mary Fair Davis expected to shake up Augusta Commission



Mary Fair Davis, only the third woman elected to serve on the Augusta Commission, said she won because voters believed she could deliver on her message of helping make
the city a better place to live.
Davis trounced Ed Enoch
and Cleveland O’Steen on Nov. 6, winning every District 3 precinct and 66 percent of the popular votes.

“My message was pretty simple, but it came from my heart, and that’s just the feeling in Augusta right now,” said Davis, who works part time in development for St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School while she and husband, Scott, a landscape architect, raise two children.

Her closest ally, at least initially, likely will be Mayor Deke Copenhaver, in whose mayoral campaigns she was actively involved. Copen­haver said Tuesday that it was fitting that a city nearly 52 percent female had female representation.

The last woman to sit on the commission was Betty Beard, who did not seek reelection to her District 1 seat in 2009. Barbara Sims was the other female commissioner, for District 3.

As a woman, Davis will “shift the dynamic on the commission in a tremendously positive way in that she brings a unique voice and perspective that has been lacking at the commission level for several years,” Copenhaver said.

District 7 Commissioner Jerry Brigham said that Davis “brings her relationship with Deke” to the table but that she will soon learn she’s on her own.

“Usually after about the first six months, they figure out they’re their own person and they have to take the criticism for the way they voted,” Brigham said.

District 7 Commissioner-elect Donnie Smith heaped praise on his new colleague, saying it was wrong to align her too closely with anyone.

“I don’t think people gave her the credit that she was going to be her own candidate,” Smith said. “She’s somebody that you can work with; at the same time, she’s not somebody that’s going to bow down to somebody. She’s honest, and she only looks out for her city.”

Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles, who, like Brigham, is term-limited, backed Da­vis to succeed him in District 3.

“She’s fairly fiscally conservative, so I look forward to seeing that continued,” Bowles said.

Commissioner Joe Jack­son, who supported Davis, said he expected her to “bring some uniqueness” and
“a different perspective.”

Commissioner Matt Ait­ken, who is headed into a Dec. 4 runoff with Bill Fennoy for the District 1 seat, agreed that Davis brings a helpful outlook to the commission.

“She cares about the issues; she researches the issues,” Aitken said. “Her growing up here, as well as having young children – that will go a long way as far as bringing that perspective to government leadership.”

Commissioner Corey John­son said Davis might help restore balance on the board.

“It is kind of reassuring that it is someone with a woman’s perspective that is looking out for things that are very important to women and families and kids,” Johnson said. “It brings a different viewpoint to the table.”


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