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Wendy Davis Responds To Charges She Embellished Life Story

Wendy Davis for Governor
Wendy Davis in a campaign ad highlighting her life story.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, is fighting back against allegations that she embellished her life story. The likely democratic nominee for Texas governor says she didn’t stretch the truth for political gain.

Part of Davis’s appeal to Texas voters has been her compelling back story -- of being once a teenaged single mother, living in a trailer park and through hard work and a Harvard law degree rising to political prominence.

But recently that story came under scrutiny by Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slatter, who called the story basically true but seized on detail that Davis was divorced at 21 and not 19 as she claimed.

Davis is responding saying 19 is when the marriage ended and she and her daughter were on their own and it took two years for the divorce to be granted by the court.

"When I was 19 I was on my own struggling to raise my daughter," she said. "The fact that a divorce decree didn’t declare it final until I was 21 doesn’t change the fact that during that entire period of time I was the support – the sole support for myself and my daughter."

Davis said she is not surprised by this political attack on her life story by the likely Republican nominee for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott.

"Obviously this is a pretty sleazy attack by Greg Abbott and his folks," Davis said. "It’s not a reflection on me or my team that is an incredible team of people working hard to make a difference working hard to make a difference in Texas – it’s a reflection on him and on his."

Davis entered the national political spotlight after she held an 11-hour filibuster to temporarily halt the passage of an anti-abortion bill. Texas has not elected a democrat to a statewide office since 1994.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi