Republicans on Wednesday were celebrating the defection to the GOP this week of a former Democratic congressman and close ally of President Barack Obama, saying that it underscored their argument that the president has led the country on a march to the left.

Former Alabama congressman Artur Davis, once a rising star in the Democratic Party and the man who helped put Obama’s name in nomination for the presidency in 2008, announced his intention to switch parties and said that he will vote for Mitt Romney in November.

“The fact that he has the courage to analyze the problems with the current administration on the issues of unifying diverse interests in America and creating jobs tells me this is a guy with a lot of principle,” said Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, R, who said he plans to call Davis in the next few days to welcome him to the party.

Davis, a centrist who opposed the Democratic health-care bill, said he may run for elected office as a Republican in Virginia.

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