Tags: davis | biography | abbott

Texas Gov's Race Heats Up Over Davis' Life Story

By Lisa Barron   |   Tuesday, 21 Jan 2014 11:06 AM

Texas Democrat Wendy Davis is attempting to blame her Republican gubernatorial opponent Greg Abbott for triggering the controversy over alleged inaccuracies in her biography.

After the Dallas Morning News ran a piece over the weekend questioning Davis' portrayal of herself as a struggling, single teenage mother, she issued a statement saying, "We're not surprised by Greg Abbott's campaign attacks on the personal story of my life as a single mother who worked hard to get ahead. But they won't work, because my story is the story of millions of Texas women who know the strength it takes when you're young, alone, and a mother."

When challenged by Politico to detail Abbott's alleged attacks, a spokeswoman for Davis responded, "We've had reporters independently verify these attacks are coming from Greg Abbott's campaign."

But Morning News political reporter Wayne Slater, who wrote the story, said via Twitter Sunday that he had spoken to "zero" Abbot people while researching his story.

A spokesman for Abbott, however, did slam Davis's account of her life. Matt Hirsch issued a statement Monday accusing the state senator of "systematically, intentionally, and repeatedly" deceiving Texans for years about her background.

"Yet she expects voters to indulge her fanciful narrative," he added.

Davis gained nationwide attention in June after carrying on a 13-hour filibuster against anti-abortion legislation.

Her campaign for governor has focused on her battle to overcome adversity by going on to graduate from Harvard Law School and winning a seat in the Texas Senate.

The Morning News did not describe Davis's biography as a "fanciful narrative," as Abbott's spokesman put it. Instead, Slater reported that "the basic elements" of it were true. But he added, "The full story is more complicated, as often happens when public figures aim to define themselves. In the shorthand version that has developed, some facts have been blurred."

For example, Slater noted in the story that "Davis was 21, not 19, when she was divorced" and that she and her daughter lived in a mobile home for only a short time when she and her first husband separated.

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