Tom Davis Emerges as Frontrunner for Top Post at MPPA

The moderate former Republican Congressman from Virginia is a leading candidate, while others are no longer in the running.

NEW YORK – Hollywood studio bosses finally seem to be getting closer to picking a new head of the MPAA, with Tom Davis, a former Republican congressman from Virginia, being a leading candidate, according to the The Wrap.

The website said that other candidates who were considered, mostly Democrats, are no longer in the running, including outgoing Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, retiring Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

Davis, 61, was in Congress for seven terms until 2008 when he decided not to seek another term. The moderate former head of the National Republican Congressional Committee currently works as a consultant for Deloitte Services. He was chairman of the Government Reform Committee and presided over such hearings as the one about steroid use in Major League Baseball.

A source told The Hollywood Reporter that the search could possibly wrap up this month, but many have predicted it will go into next year. Observers are cautious given past events.

The nearly year-long search for a new MPAA boss has been rocky, and this summer, negotiations with former Senator Bob Kerrey broke down far into the negotiation process.

Observers have pointed to various challenges of finding a person for the job, such as the lower profile of the MPAA in recent years, compared to the Jack Valenti years, and the fact that the lobbying arm’s leader answers to the studios, which don’t always agree on key issues.