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Gray Davis


Picture of Gray Davis
Credit: Mike Taylor
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-02-1982 Democratic AD-43 77081 Win
11-06-1984 Democratic AD-43 87965 Win
11-04-1986 Democratic Controller 3673432 Win
11-06-1990 Democratic Controller 4153534 Win
11-08-1994 Democratic Lieutenant Governor 4441429 Win
11-03-1998 Democratic Governor 4858817 Win
11-05-2002 Democratic Governor 3533490 Win

Candidate Biography:

Joseph Graham Davis, Jr.
Born: December 26, 1942 in New York, New York
Married: Sharon Ryer
Military Service: ARMY (Vietnam)

1972-1973: Finance Director, Tom Bradley for Mayor of Los Angeles
1974: Primary Candidate for Treasurer (Lost)
1975-1981: Chief of Staff, Governor Jerry Brown
1992: Primary Candidate for US Senate (Lost)
1999: As Governor, Davis ended the state appeal of a ruling against Proposition 187, effectively ending its implementation.
2003: Recalled from the office of Governor on October 7th
2012: Delegate, Democratic National Convention
2016: Delegate, Democratic National Convention
2020: Member, Governor's Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery

  • During his service in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star.
  • Although Davis held three different constitutional offices in the term limits era, he never termed out of any of them. His first term as Controller was served prior to term limits, he declined a second term as Lt. Governor, and was recalled well before reaching the halfway point in his second term as Governor.
  • In 1985, Davis worked with dairy producers and grocery stores to start a program that printed pictures of missing or abducted children on milk cartons and grocery bags.
  • PLACENAME: On May 11, 2007, the Los Angeles Regional Crime Laboratory Facility Authority dedicated the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center to honor Davis and former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg
  • In 1999, Davis was the target of an attempted recall led by Glenn J. Spencer and 73 others. The recall failed to qualify for the ballot.
  • In 2003, Davis was the target of an attempted recall led by Edward L. Nicholson and 9 others. The recall failed to qualify for the ballot.
  • In 2003, Davis was the target of an attempted recall led by Edward J. Costa and 98 others. The recall qualified for the ballot and succeeded (55.4% in favor; 44.6% opposed).

Source: California Legislature Handbook (1983)
Source: "Complete List of Recall Attempts" by the California Secretary of State (Accessed 2/14/2011)