- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 7, 2007

(AP) — Rep. Jo Ann Davis, who represented southeastern Virginia for seven years, died yesterday morning after a two-year battle with breast cancer, her office said.

Mrs. Davis, 57, died at her home in Gloucester.

The Republican lawmaker was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and had a reoccurrence earlier this year. Her health took a turn for the worse during the past week, her office said.

“Her determination to fight the disease is an inspiration to all of us,” President Bush said in a statement. “She was a fine example of a public servant who worked hard to cut government waste to ensure the people’s money was used wisely.”

Mrs. Davis was first elected to Congress in 2000, and was a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. Her first piece of legislation, passed by the House in 2001, increased the life-insurance benefit paid to survivors of military members killed on duty.

“Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis made history when she became the first female Republican elected to the House of Representatives from the commonwealth in 2000,” said Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat. “She inspired Virginians as she battled breast cancer while continuing to serve the commonwealth.”

The governor will schedule a special election, likely before the end of the year, to fill the remaining year of Mrs. Davis’ term, Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner said.

She underwent chemotherapy treatments and a mastectomy when she was first diagnosed in 2005. When her cancer returned, she underwent chemotherapy again and often monitored hearings from home

A conservative who came from modest means, Mrs. Davis was known for her inquisitiveness and how quickly she learned about any legislative issue.

Mrs. Davis attended Hampton Roads Business College and obtained her real estate license in 1984 and her real estate broker’s license four years later. In 1990, she opened her own business, Jo Ann Davis Realty.

Her husband, Chuck Davis, was a battalion chief for the Hampton Fire Department. They have two grown sons and a granddaughter.

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