TopVet: Joseph Graham "Gray" Davis, Governor of California
Joseph Graham Davis, Jr. was overwhelmingly elected the 37th Governor of California on November 3, 1998, winning 58 percent of the statewide vote. In the June primary election, Davis shocked political observers by not only handily defeating two better-funded Democratic opponents, but by also finishing ahead of the unopposed Republican nominee. It was the continuation of an old tradition; in his successful campaign for Lieutenant Governor in 1994, he received more votes than any other Democratic candidate in America.
He entered active duty in the U.S. Army in December of 1967, rose to the rank of Captain while serving in Vietnam in 1968-69. A life member of both the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Gray is the highest-ranking Vietnam veteran currently serving in California State Government.
Shaped by his experience as a Captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star, Gray Davis throughout his career has sought to bring Californians together to take on the State’s ever-changing challenges, while maintaining a keen appreciation for the diversity of human and natural resources that makes the Golden State such a special place.
"I believe that when Californians leave the service, California should not leave them," Davis once said. "During my administration, I will ensure that we never forget our duty to California’s veterans – our duty to provide them every opportunity to succeed, to receive a quality education, to get a well-paying job, to buy a home, to protect their health. In short, to achieve the American Dream. I would like to reaffirm our duty to California’s 3.1 million courageous veterans."