North Carolina Legislator Profile Update: Ted Davis (R-New Hanover)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Ted Davis Jr., the Republican representative from House District 19. A descendent of one of New Hanover’s wealthiest families, Davis followed an uneventful legal career with an unremarkable tenure as county commissioner. Davis switched affiliation to Republican for political expedience in order to run for public office. He was elected to the legislature in 2012 and has largely been a cog in the Raleigh political machine. As such, he failed to deliver anything of note for the Wilmington area.

Davis’s time in the state House is probably most exemplified by his tenure as Chair of the House Select Committee on River Quality set up to “respond” to the GenX crisis. In a role meant to give Davis a chance to shine, he has so far doled out taxpayer money to political cronies of Republican leadership and allowed a trade association lobbyist for Chemours, the company responsible for dumping GenX in our drinking water, to write three budget provisions that let the polluter off the hook. Meanwhile, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority customers are seeing their bills go up to pay for GenX cleanup and taxpayers are stuck with the bill for more “study” of the problem. 

Davis’s inept handling of GenX is just the latest example of his failure to provide meaningful service to the people of his district as he plays follow-the-leader in Raleigh. Davis went along with the Raleigh Republican leaderships’ agenda to hand out more tax breaks to big out of state companies while our public schools remain underfunded. He failed to raise teacher salaries, which remain well below the national average. Davis served on the committee that failed to correct legislative districts ruled illegal racial gerrymanders, continuing the recent Republican tradition of denying voting rights to African-Americans.  

While on the county commission, Davis blocked funds for health insurance that covered contraceptives but has been more than happy in the legislature to provide millions in taxpayer funding for so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers. These fake clinics claim to provide health services despite not being required to have medical professionals on site. They have been documented to give false and misleading information to people seeking care. 

Read more information about Davis here.

“All I know is that we’re doing something,” –Rep. Ted Davis on GenX bill. (WRAL, 1/10/18)

Instead of swiftly responding to the GenX crisis with funding for DEQ, Davis allowed Chemours lobbyists to write key budget provisions that let them off the hook and made preventing future water crises more difficult.  

  • Davis failed to fund meaningful solutions to the GenX crisis and failed to push his bill across the finish line
  • Davis voted for the 2017 budget that cut DEQs budget for clean water programs and the 2018 budget that included provisions written by Chemours lobbyists that will limit future monitoring and study of contaminants in our water
  • Rates have gone up for Cape Fear Public Utility Authority customers to pay for GenX cleanup

 Davis supported the Republican agenda that placed tax breaks for out of state corporations ahead of raising teacher pay to the national average.

  • Out of state corporations have received $3.5 billion in tax cuts from Republican budgets
  • Teacher pay is still nearly $10,000 below the national average and teachers are forced to pay $500 to $1,000 out of pocket annually for classroom supplies not covered by Republican budgets
  • Schools are the second largest employer in New Hanover County, but Davis has repeatedly reinforced the idea that teachers are paid enough 

Davis served on the committee that failed to fix legislative districts ruled unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. 

  • The 2011 maps were ruled unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. They packed African-American voters into districts, diluting their vote in others
  • Lawmakers failed to comply with the courts orders to correct the racial gerrymanders and Davis gave the green light to maps that the court ruled failed to correct problems.

 As a county commissioner, Davis blocked coverage for contraceptives, but as a lawmaker found it appropriate to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to fund fake pregnancy clinics.  

  • Davis: “If these young women were responsible people and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”’
  • Davis voted for Republican budgets that allocated millions to crisis pregnancy centers and pro-life organizations.


Read the full profile here