Less than three days after The Dallas Morning News published a piece in which veteran political reporter Wayne Slater called into question details of Wendy Davis' life, the gubernatorial candidate is striking back at critics — and her likely opponent, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott.
In an open letter sent to both her email supporters and posted on her website, Davis reaffirmed her story saying,
Mine is a story about a teenage single mother who struggled to keep her young family afloat. It’s a story about a young woman who was given a precious opportunity to work her way up in the world. It’s a story about resiliency, and sacrifice, and perseverance.
And you’re damn right it’s a true story.
Abbott's campaign, his supporters and the media (including CultureMap) jumped on the story, which calls into question a few key details about Davis' life including what age she divorced for the first time (she was 21, not 19 as she has previously said) and how long she and her young daughter spent living in a trailer park. (It was just a few months which somehow proves she's elitist or something.) While pointing out the factual discrepancies in Davis' personal narrative, Slater also questions how good of a wife and mother Davis is for good measure.
And the attacks continue with Slater painting a portrait of Davis as an opportunistic sugar baby rather than a woman who turned a life of poverty into an Ivy League education and a seat in the Texas Capitol. In her letter, Davis strikes back at this notion saying,
[Greg Abbott and his allies] don’t have anything to offer Texans who find themselves in the same difficult situation I was in when I was young. They would slam the doors I walked through and pull up the ladders I was lucky to be able to climb. And now, instead of offering real ideas to improve your life, they’re attacking mine.
Davis also took to Twitter,
No false attack can take away my story. And no sleazy political trick will stop me from giving voice to yours. http://t.co/WmURHnVgp3— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) January 21, 2014
Though Davis doesn't address the factual errors called into question, she does reiterate her time spent as a single mother saying,
The story of my life is also the story of millions of single mothers who feel alone in the world, millions of young dreamers searching for their chance to become something more than what they were born into, millions of families all across Texas who would sacrifice everything to give their children a better future.
As the campaign marches toward November, we will undoubtedly continue to see more of these attacks from both sides. Let's just hope it's a fair fight.