Besides his mom, perhaps no one is more thrilled with Mike Davis' election victory than his students at St. Ignatius.
Hastily made congratulatory signs are taped to his classroom door and above the chalkboard. There are balloons in a rainbow of colors poking from classroom corners. There are flower arrangements and the remains of a chocolate cake.
There also are a couple of Bibles, textbooks and a few paperbacks on faith scattered on his desk.
"I'm humbled by the election," he says as students file out of the classroom.
"I really don't look at as a win. There were only 300 votes separating all of us. It's really Delhi Township that wins."
Davis predicts the people will be well served by the new trustee board.
"You've got a Democrat, a Republican and an Independent," he says. "It's a nice balance, but it's not about party politics. I hope people realize that. It's about them, the people."
Davis credits what some might consider a surprise victory to a higher power and a solid band of supporters, including his mom, Sylvia.
He says it was God, friends and family who helped him get elected in his very first bid for office.
"My mom was a gentle support who reminded me that win or lose I still had a private life and that in the end it would be the Lord's will."
He then attended a Columbus seminary for nearly six years before realizing the priesthood wasn't for him.
"I just wasn't ready to make that commitment not to marry and have a family," he says.
He found the perfect way to live his faith by teaching and being an active member of his St. Dominic parish.
Oh, and then there's what he calls his hobby.
Davis still is slightly miffed that he was tagged an Elvis impersonator - and little else - throughout the campaign.
"It's something I do that allows me to afford to be a teacher," he says.
His entertainment career started innocently enough at the breakfast table trying to make his family laugh. The youngest of six kids, Davis said he started doing impersonations of famous people, Elvis being one of his best.
Elvis isn't his only act. His Vegas-style concerts include Willie Nelson and Tom Jones.
He has a standing date to perform at the Grand Victoria every Friday night, but says he's looking forward to his annual show at the College of Mount St. Joseph Dec. 21.
He may don a custom-made white jump suit and take the stage on weekends, but during the week Davis has a different sort of captive audience who also give him rave reviews.
"He's not just an Elvis impersonator," says Kelli Dickman, "He's my teacher and he teaches well."
Several of his students share his frustration at being known as the Elvis candidate.
"I don't think there was enough in the press about him as a person," says Madeleine Jung.
Davis also teaches government and used a bit of his experience to teach students about the process.
"I think we learned from it," says Tony Hinnenkamp. "I really felt like I was helping in some way even if I didn't do anything."
Hinnenkamp wasn't the only one getting an education in the weeks leading up to the election.
"It's tough to remain a Christian and run for public office," Davis says. "There were things said that weren't true and it was frustrating."
But, he sighs, it's finished and he can start thinking about what he wants to accomplish in his next two years in office.
"I ran because I wanted to make a difference, as cheeseball as that sounds," he says with a grin.
"I felt I was in touch with the youth, that I had something to offer and that a sense of humor and a different way of looking at things could make a difference."
Published Nov. 12, 2003
Originally Heidi Fallon