After nearly four years of work in an “of counsel” position, Wendy Davis, Texas Democratic candidate for governor, is leaving her position with law firm Cantey Hanger. Davis has come under fire in the past for allegations of unethical behavior regarding her legal work.
Davis held positions in two law firms before the gubernatorial race began: Cantey Hanger and her own firm, Newby Davis. While she will remain affiliated with the latter, her campaign confirmed this week that she is leaving the former. Davis is doing so to focus on “managing her obligations during the campaign,” according to spokespeople.
While it is not uncommon for those in the throes of a political campaign to forego some responsibilities that may be time-consuming, the timing of her departure raises questions. Her tenure at Cantey Hanger–as well as Newby Davis–has not been without controversy.
During her last campaign to remain in the Texas State Senate, The Texas Tribune reported that many questioned the relationship between her legal and public work. While never found officially liable for any wrongdoing, her opponent accused State Senator Davis of funneling public contracts over to Newby Davis. Remaining as legally active as she had been before the gubernatorial campaign could entice media inclined to investigate the candidate to continue researching her work with the firm, potentially sparking another scandal.
The Davis campaign has not had a shortage of scandals. Since the Dallas Morning News revealed that Davis had lied about paying for her education and living as a single teen mom, Davis has yet to correct the error on her website, apologize, or even admit that she stated falsehoods. The inconsistencies snowballed as it was revealed that Davis made those same statements under oath in federal court and has a history of inconsistent loyalties. A lifelong Republican, Davis left the party upon running for public office. She recently also pivoted completely on gun rights, aligning with Republican opponent Greg Abbott on open carry laws.