A 78-year-old pro-gun, pro-abortion industrialist is throwing a wrench into what had been a sure-fire special election win for Republicans in western New York. Jack Davis, a perennial candidate for Congress, decided to run as a tea party candidate and is drawing votes from the Republican candidate at a pace that might hand the seat to a Democrat, The New York Times reports.
|Kathy Hochul, left, Jack Davis, center, and Jane Corwin (AP)
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and conservative organizations have come to the 26th Congressional District, which runs between Rochester and Buffalo, to support the Republican candidate, Jane Corwin, and attack Davis, who has changed parties multiple times.
Democratic nominee Kathy Hochul has seized on the House GOP plan to overhaul Medicare and hammered Corwin with it. The tactic has given her campaign some traction and analysts from both parties say with Davis in the mix, the seat in the heavily Republican district might go to Hochul.
Davis made a fortune by founding a company that makes heating elements for electric furnaces. He has dumped at least $5 million of that fortune in three previous runs for the House as a Democrat, having switched parties in 2004. He has spent $2.2 million on this run as a tea party candidate.
The seat became vacant when Rep. Christopher Lee, R-N.Y., resigned after it was revealed the married man had emailed a shirtless photo of himself to a woman on the Internet. Davis failed to get the Republican nomination but gathered enough signatures to run on the tea party line.
The Republican former mayor of Medina, N.Y., Clayton Ehrenreich, said “Davis is somebody different than the status quo in Washington. He’s not controlled by either party,” according to the Times.
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