Democratic Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis has been hit hard by allegations that parts of her teen-mom-makes-good story may have been exaggerated. Still, fellow Texan and former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay warns Republicans against counting her out in the Texas gubernatorial race.
According to a Newsmax report, DeLay said:
“I’m not ready to say no way because, as you know, the left are in Texas and they’re trying to change Texas from red to blue and they bring their entire strong coalition. Over the last 15 years, they’ve put together, probably, the most powerful political coalition I’ve ever seen before. And you add that to Obama’s campaign machine, it’s pretty ominous.”
Sen. Wendy Davis first received national attention in June for her 11 hour filibuster of legislation that proposed to restrict abortions in the state of Texas after 20 weeks of gestation. The bill later passed despite the filibuster.
Davis announced her intention to run for Texas governor in October. Much of her campaign focuses on her public narrative. The state senator describes herself as a former single teen mom who worked hard and took advantage of the opportunities afforded her to attend Tarrant County Community College, Texas Christian University and Harvard Law School before running for public office.
According to her website, Sen. Wendy Davis served on the Fort Worth City Council for nine years, chairing the city’s economic development committee. In 2008, she defeated incumbent Kim Brimer, who had served 19 years in the Texas legislature, to represent Texas’ 10th Senate District.
The controversies bedeviling the Davis campaign involve details of her personal life. Davis claimed she was a divorced, single mother by age 19. The Dallas Morning News reported that she was actually 21 when she divorced her first husband. The report also brought to light the fact that Davis was remarried to attorney Jeff Davis before attending Harvard Law School and that he had alleged adultery on her part during divorce proceedings. Newsmax reports that she filed for divorce the day after her second husband made the last payment on her student loans. Jeff Davis was awarded custody of the couple’s children in the divorce settlement.
The Davis campaign has also received negative press from the release of a video showing members of her campaign making fun of Attorney General Greg Abbott – her likely opponent in the governor’s race – for his disabilities. Davis has condemned the behavior shown in the video, which was released by conservative advocacy group Project Veritas, calling the language her supporters used “abhorrent.”
Notably, one Republican has come to her defense regarding the discrepancies between her public narrative and private life. MSNBC reports that Becky Haskin, who served with Davis on the Fort Worth City Council, said, “If this involved a man running for office, none of this would ever come up.”
Despite the controversy Davis is faced with, DeLay warns Republicans against underestimating her, admonishing Abbott not to “sit on his laurels,” but to continue to campaign hard until the election.
What do you think? Will the scrutiny of her life story negatively affect Sen. Wendy Davis in her attempt to become the first Democratic governor of Texas since George W. Bush defeated incumbent Democrat Ann Richards in 1994?