Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of Georgia received a hefty campaign contribution from a Republican-backed political action committee in early December, according to a Federal Election Commission report.
Former Sen. Richard Lugar's (R-Ind.) 19th Star PAC made a $5,000 contribution to Nunn's Senate campaign, the maximum donation from a PAC to an individual candidate allowed by FEC regulations.
Lugar worked closely with Nunn's father, former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), on nuclear non-proliferation. Sam Nunn retired from the Senate in 1997 and now runs the Nuclear Threat Initiative charity.
Michelle Nunn expressed her gratitude for Lugar's continued commitment to bipartisanship in a statement on Monday:
"I am immensely honored and grateful for Senator Lugar's generous support in this race. His tenure in U.S. Senate embodied the type of pragmatism and problem-solving Georgians are yearning for in Washington. Both in the Senate and in the international community, Senator Lugar's collaborative approach made us safer and moved our country forward. We need more leaders like Senator Lugar –- not less, and I will strive to follow this legacy in the U.S. Senate."
Since Lugar lost his 2012 Senate primary to a tea party candidate, his PAC has made contributions to several Republican senators facing tea party challengers, including Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).
Nunn, running as a centrist, has received support from conservatives in the months since she jumped into the race. Former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), another former colleague of Nunn's father, made a $500 contribution to her campaign and attended a fundraiser in November.
Nunn also received donations from Tom Cousins and Jim Cox Kennedy, contributors to the Republican National Committee and Mitt Romney campaign in 2012. John Wieland, founder of John Wieland Homes, and his wife threw their support to Nunn. Each gave $4,600 to the Republican Senate candidate in 2010.
“Michelle understands that middle ground, and that’s why we wrote the checks,” Wieland told Bloomberg in October.