Former Federal Bureau of Investigations director—and apparent former Republican—James Comey has donated $2,700 to state Sen. Jennifer T. Wexton (D-33)’s campaign for the House of Representatives, the maximum allowable single donation.
Wexton is challenging Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10) for her seat in Congress.
The donation was first spotted by The Hill. Comey, who lives in McLean, made the donation last month, according to Federal Elections Commission filings. Comey’s wife, Patrice, also made a $2,700 donation.
Wexton raised about twice as much money as Comstock in the last quarter, bringing in $2.6 million to Comstock’s $1.3 million, according to disclosure reports filed Monday.
The donation brings together two flashpoints in national party politics.
Comey was a lifelong registered Republican, but was fired by President Donald J. Trump in 2017, an action which Trump reportedly told Russian officials at the time took off “great pressure” on him because of the FBI’s investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election. Comey’s firing, along with a leaked memo and his testimony to Congress, reportedly led Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate possible obstruction of justice by the president.
Since his firing, Comey has been publicly critical of Trump and the Republican Party. He has been criticized by Democrats for an eleventh-hour letter to Congress about reopening an investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified email during the 2016 presidential election. He has also been criticized by Republicans for his role in launching investigations into Trump and Russian interference.
Wexton’s attempt to unseat Comstock has been one of the more closely watched races in the country. Virginia’ 10th congressional district is one of the country’s most politically mixed and quickly changing. The district is represented by a mix of Republican and Democrats at the local and state levels. Comstock has handily won elections, but has seen her electoral margin shrink—she won her first election with 56 percent of the vote, and in 2016 with 53 percent. The district also supported Democrats Hillary Clinton for president and Ralph Northam for governor.
RealClearPolitics puts the district as “lean Democrat,” citing polls that have Wexton’s lead anywhere from seven to 12 points up in the race.