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Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis to speak at Republican convention

Rep. Artur Davis, with his wife Tara, concedes the Democratic gubernatorial race to Ron Sparks during a speech at the Harbert Center in Birmingham, Ala., Tues. June 1, 2010. MARK ALMOND

(CBS News) The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Thursday announced six new convention speakers, including a handful of people thought to have been considered potential running mates for Mitt Romney as well as former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, a co-chairman of President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and current Romney supporter.

According to an email from the RNC, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and Ohio Senator Rob Portman will all speak this August at the convention in Tampa.

Connie Mack, who is running for Senate in Florida, was also added to the lineup.

"This exciting group of headliners includes two successful governors, two outstanding senators, the next senator from our convention state, and a former Co-Chairman of the 2008 Obama campaign," said Reince Priebus, RNC chair, in a statement. "The perspectives and ideas they bring to the convention stage will show all Americans that Romney and Ryan are the ticket to a better future."

Priebus pointed to Davis as someone who can "give voice to the frustration and disappointment felt among those who supported President Obama in 2008 and are now hungry for a new direction."

Davis, an African-American who unsuccessfully ran for governor of Alabama as a Democrat in 2010 before joining the GOP, was a prominent supporter of Mr. Obama and even seconded his nomination at the 2008 Democratic convention. Wednesday, Davis accused Vice President Joe Biden of using racially divisive rhetoric. And Thursday, Davis penned an opinion article for National Review criticizing the president's "hidden-hand politics" and suggested the president's campaign tactics resemble "that great hidden-hand stone thrower, Richard Nixon."  

The GOP convention will take place at the end of August in Tampa, Fla. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been tapped to be the event's keynote speaker.

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