Longtime State House reporter dies

AP Reporter Jim Davenport dies at age 54

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina Associated Press reporter Jim Davenport has died. He was 54.

Davenport's wife Debra says he died Monday after battling cancer for two years.

He was a tenacious reporter who made it his mission to inform people in South Carolina about what their governors, lawmakers and other powerful officials were doing with their tax money and their influence.

During his 13 years with the AP, Davenport uncovered improper flights by Gov. Mark Sanford that led to a $74,000 ethics fine. He also uncovered the state Commerce Department's use of a private marketing account to pay for $1,000 chairs, a maid for the director's Columbia apartment and alcohol for its Christmas parties.

Davenport contributed many of the legislature stories you read right here on

Today Goveror Nikki Haley said of Davenport, ""Michael and I were saddened to learn of Jim Davenport's passing. As the dean of South Carolinaâ??s press corps, Jim put a premium on fairness, integrity and hard work. While we will miss Jim at the Statehouse, on the campaign trail and any place news is made, we know his legacy - not just as a great reporter but as a devoted husband, father and friend - will outlast those of us who were privileged enough to work with him. And our entire state will be better for that.

â??We ask that you lift up Jimâ??s wife Debra, daughter Catherine and the entire Davenport family in prayer"