Republicans have once again given a speaking spot at their national convention to a former Democrat.
Former Rep. Artur Davis, co-chair of Barack Obama’s election committee in 2008 will speak at this month’s get-together in Tampa, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus announced Thursday.
It follows the speech given by former Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman at the 2008 convention and of sitting Democratic Sen. Zell Miller in 2004.
Davis was a congressman from Alabama who decided not to run for a sixth term in 2010. He was an early supporter of Obama, becoming the first member of the House from outside Illinois to endorse him in the 2008 campaign. He seconded Obama’s nomination at that year’s Democratic convention.
But he grew disillusioned with Obama’s leadership and switched party allegiance to the Republicans this year.
Priebus said Davis will “give voice to the frustration and disappointment felt among those who supported President Obama in 2008 and are now hungry for a new direction.”
Davis was among a slew of convention speakers announced Thursday. Others include four contenders for Mitt Romney’s running mate slot who were passed over in favor of Paul Ryan: Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Bob McDonnell of Virginia.
Priebus also said that Florida Rep. Connie Mack IV, who on Tuesday won a primary for the right to fight for the Senate, will also speak.
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