Former Democratic Rep. donates to two GOP candidates

J. Arthur Bloom Deputy Editor
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Artur Davis’s new tune on voter ID laws isn’t his only recent right turn. According to third-quarter Federal Election Commission filings, Davis — a former Democratic congressman from Alabama, donated $500 in September to the campaign of Heather Wilson, New Mexico’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. Davis also contributed to the Republican front-runner in the Mississippi governor’s race.

Asked by the The Daily Caller to explain the curious donations, Davis equivocated on his support for Mississippi gubernatorial hopeful Phil Bryant.

“I wrote a contribution to Phil Bryant in Mississippi,” he told TheDC. “I also wrote a contribution in the primary to Johnny Dupree, the Democrat who’s running.”

Davis told TheDC that his support for Wilson stems from what he saw of the New Mexico Republican candidate during their time in the House of Representatives.

“This check was not solicited,” he said. “I just happen to have been talking about Heather with a former colleague of ours, and that just inspired me to go online and make a contribution to her.”

“I served with Heather Wilson in Congress for, I think, four years. I have a lot of admiration for her as a person,” Davis told TheDC.

“I got to watch her in action, got to have a few conversations with her over a period of time, and found her to be a very thoughtful person. I found her to be someone who has an enormous amount of dignity, someone who I thought was a very positive and thoughtful force in the Republican Party.”

Wilson faces a tea party challenge from Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez, and her Washington, D.C. credentials have led some conservatives to question her grassroots bona fides.

“When she ran for Senate the first time in 2008 and lost in the primary, I recall that she was attacked for not being partisan enough,” Davis said. “I certainly have faced those kinds of attacks in my own party, so I had some sympathy for seeing her go through that exercise.”

Davis cautions that his financial support “doesn’t mean I think every vote she would cast in the Senate is the same vote I would cast if I was there. That’s not what the contribution was about. It’s about my admiration for Heather Wilson as a person, and as a political figure.”

Update: In an email to The Daily Caller, Davis clarified that he helped out Dupree in the Mississippi primary at the request of friends in Mississippi. He writes, “I looked at a comparison of the two nominees in the general and concluded Bryant would be a better prepared, more experienced Governor. In deference to that research, I wrote Bryant a $500 check.”

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