In January, Dan Donovan said, "I will always do what's right for you and your family, every single time, whether it hurts me politically or not."

But political calculations can be the name of the game, especially as Donovan faces a tough primary. 

His answer is to cozy up to President Donald Trump. But that wasn't always the case.  

"We started with 17 people on the Republican side. Now, we are down to six," Donovan said in November 2016. "My analysis is real clear. It's not so much who I favor, it's who is going to be the most productive president for our nation and the people of the 11th congressional district."

During the presidential primary, Donovan did not back Trump initially. In April of 2016, he was praising John Kasich. 

"Personally, I think John Kasich would have made a wonderful president. But I said publicly I will support whoever the Republican nominee is," Donovan said at the time.

"He's got a message that's resonating with people. I like hearing it," Donovan said at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Now, Donovan is a Trump backer. The website FiveThirtyEight says he votes with the president almost 86 percent of the time.

That includes echoing some of his rhetoric. When an undocumented immigrant delivering pizza to a Brooklyn army base was detained by immigration authorities, Donovan issued a statement.



Days earlier, his campaign sent a provocative mailer to voters in the district. An x went through immigrants trying to cross the border. 

It was a far cry from a few years earlier.

"We have to make it less difficult to become a citizen," he said in 2015.

A path to citizenship, he argued in 2015. A year later, he says as district attorney, he never asked about immigration status. 

"The only people that I was concerned about immigration status was those who commited a crime," he said at the time. "I had publicly said, and I was criticized for it, Errol, I will never question someone's immigration status if they were a victim of a crime, they were reporting a crime or if they were a witness to a crime."

Now for Donovan, his talking points include building the border wall and ending so-called chain migration.