governor's race heats up over new book
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[September 15, 2014]
By Marice Richter
DALLAS (Reuters) - The race for Texas
governor entered a new chapter this week with the release of a memoir
from Democratic candidate Wendy Davis that rekindled attention on
abortion and led to an ethics complaint from her opponent, Republican
Abbott, currently the state's attorney general, is accusing Davis
of misusing campaign contributions to promote the book called
"Forgetting to Be Afraid," in which Davis, a state senator, reveals
she had terminated two pregnancies.
"Senator Davis' book promotion has gone from ethically questionable
to outright unlawful," Abbott campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch said.
The gubernatorial race, which is set to be the most expensive in the
state's history, has heated up this month with both campaigns
reaching into their war chests to start spending heavily on TV
Davis campaign spokesman Zac Petkanas called the complaint frivolous
and said it shows "how worried Greg Abbott is about the power of her
Davis, who rose from being a single mother in a trailer park to a
Harvard Law school graduate, gained national standing in 2013 when
she donned pink running shoes and staged a dramatic 10-hour
filibuster at the Texas statehouse against sweeping abortion
Polling shows that Abbott's lead has narrowed in recent weeks from
about 12 to 14 percentage points to single digits as Davis has
attacked him for being part of an old boys' network putting their
interests above that of the state.
Abbott's campaign has tried to show Davis as out of touch with Texas
values and not up to the challenge of running a state with a $1.4
trillion a year economy.
"Many presidential candidates release policy books that cast them in
a favorable light while campaigning," said Cal Jillson, a political
science professor at Southern Methodists University in Dallas.
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"Wendy Davis' book is a different message, with warts showing."
In the book, Davis reveals that she terminated two pregnancies in
the 1990s for medical reasons.
In one instance, the embryo implanted outside her uterus and the
other was due to the diagnosis of a critical brain condition of her
unborn daughter which would likely lead to a quick death.
Texans have not elected a Democrat to statewide office in 20 years.
That is predicted to change as Hispanics, who tend to vote
Democratic, are expected to become the majority group in Texas by
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Rosalind Russell)
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