Just like his first run for office in 2012, David Alameel’s second bid for public office is drawing questions about his past campaign donations.
Alameel, the owner of a multimillion-dollar chain of dental clinics that caters to Hispanics, is one of five Democrats vying for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican John Cornyn. In recent years, Alameel has emerged as one of the top donors to Democratic groups and candidates in the country. However, before 2010, his donations were more bipartisan. Over several years, he donated more than $750,000 to Republican candidates and groups, including $8,000 to Cornyn in 2004.
In a phone interview Monday, Alameel said he would not make the same donations to Republicans again.
“I want a refund right now because I believe John Cornyn and his Republican friends in Washington work for Wall Street and not Texans,” Alameel said. When asked if he regretted those earlier donations to Republicans, he reiterated that he wanted “a refund.”
Alameel said that his view of the Republican Party has changed in recent years.
“I used to think that Democrats and Republicans work together, but you know, it’s becoming more and more crystal clear that today’s Republican Party is far too extreme,” Alameel said. “John Cornyn is part of that extreme problem.”
Democratic activists and Maxey Scherr, one of Alameel’s opponents in the Democratic primary, have questioned Alameel's commitment to some of the party’s values, particularly access to abortion. Alameel insisted he has always been a strong supporter of a woman's right to an abortion.
"I support Roe v. Wade, which the Supreme Court set as law of the land years ago," Alameel said. “Decisions like this should be made by a woman, her family, her doctor and her God."