Texas Democratic Gov. Candidate Wendy Davis Goes Negative in TV Ad

Image: Texas Democratic Gov. Candidate Wendy Davis Goes Negative in TV Ad Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Friday, 08 Aug 2014 04:16 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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In her first television ad of the campaign, Democratic candidate for governor Wendy Davis goes directly at her opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, attacking him for his role in a 1998 rape case.

The ad entitled, "A Texas Story," heavily criticizes a vote Abbott made when he was on the state Supreme Court involving a case in which a woman was raped by a door-to-door salesman.

The case at the center of Davis' ad involved the 1993 rape of Dena Kristi Read by Mickey Carter, who was employed as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman by a distributor of The Kirby Co.

The issue was whether the company could be held liable for injuries sustained by Read as a result of the distributor's failure to properly perform a pre-employment background check on Carter. Carter had a record of complaints of sexual misconduct, according to The Associated Press.

The Court ruled 6-3 against Kirby with Abbott writing the dissenting opinion.

In a press release announcing her first television ad, the Davis campaign says it is intended to tell "the truth about who Greg Abbott is fighting for, political and well-connected insiders, at the expense of hardworking Texans."

The release also includes three separate solicitations for donations.

Abbott's campaign was quick to respond to the ad.

In a statement released to The Daily Caller, Abbott spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said it was the "type of rhetoric we've seen from a candidate who is paper-thin on substance and running a failing campaign devoid of any real vision."

"Not only did he create dedicated units to arrest and prosecute sex offenders and protect women and children from assault, he's responsible for putting more offenders in jail than all of his predecessors combined. In the case referenced in Sen. Davis' despicable ad, Greg Abbott's decision left intact the liability against the sex offender and his employer. No amount of desperate distortion attempts or token ad buys by Sen. Davis can change the facts of Greg Abbott's record of fighting for Texans," Chasse stated.

The Abbott campaign has also aggressively taken on Davis' charges that he is an insider with a series of Web videos on his campaign site, including one which tells the story of single mother Anne Osborne, who says Abbott helped her learn how to navigate the complicated child-support system.

Davis' decision to go negative in her first television ad may have been influenced by her position in the polls.

In a July CBS News/New York Times/YouGov poll, Abbott holds a 50 percent to 34 percent lead over Davis. The poll also found that only 2 percent were unsure for whom they would vote in November.

While Davis has made a strong pitch to women voters in an attempt to build off of the recognition she gained after launching a one-woman filibuster against a high-profile abortion bill, the issue of the border emerged this week.

On Thursday, Davis questioned the decision of Texas Gov. Rick Perry to deploy National Guard troops to the southern border in response to the surge of Central American migrants crossing into the U.S. illegally, according to Fox News Latino.

If elected governor, Davis said she would consult with local authorities to determine whether to keep them on the border.


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