AUSTIN, Texas — With the election only days away, Democrat candidate for Texas Governor Wendy Davis is holding nothing back in her efforts to attack her Republican opponent Greg Abbott. The challenge for Davis is that her past attacks have either been largely ignored by the voters, failed to stick after being debunked, or, backfired on her, as was the case with her “empty wheelchair” ad and an odd attempt to paint Abbott — whose wife is Hispanic — as opposing interracial marriage. Now, in a new radio ad, Davis alleges that Abbott does not want black Texans to vote.
The radio ad features an African-American male narrator who asks listeners if they’ve “heard of this guy running for Governor, the Republican Greg Abbott?” and calls Abbott “bad news,” claiming that Abbott “tried to overturn the Voting Rights Act.” “Take a guess about who Abbott doesn’t want to vote,” the narrator continues.
As Ashe Schow at the Washington Examiner notes, Abbott did not oppose the premise of the Voting Rights Act, but rather represented Texas as part of a group of Southern states challenging the section that granted the federal government the authority to preemptively review — and reject — any changes to Texas’ election laws and redistricting maps. Now, Texas, just like all fifty states, still has to comply with the Voting Rights Act, and anyone who wishes to challenge the state’s election laws or maps can file a lawsuit under that law. The only difference is that any new laws passed do not have to get federal approval before being enacted.
The ad also quotes some controversial statements by musician Ted Nugent, an Abbott supporter, attacks Abbott for opposing the minimum wage, and claims that he “led the effort to cut $5 billion from our schools,” referring to Abbott’s role as Attorney General in the school finance lawsuit. Davis’ infamous “meltdown” during one of their debates occurred when she attempted to blame him for not settling this lawsuit and Abbott correctly pointed out that a law that Davis herself had voted for prohibited him from settling the case without legislative approval. Obviously, Abbott was also unable to cast a vote on the education budget in the first place, because he was not in the legislature.
“If you don’t want Greg Abbott to do more damage to our community, you gotta get out and vote,” the ad concludes, urging listeners to cast a ballot during early voting.
State Representative James White, an African-American Republican representing District 19 in East Texas, sharply condemned the radio ad. “Clearly this is a divisive effort by the Davis campaign to distract from decades of failed liberal policies of the Democrat Party,” said White. “The fact is that Senator Davis is campaigning as a national Democrat attacking the economic prosperity of our state. She knows that she cannot campaign on these liberal policies in Texas because economic indicators for Texas blacks are immensely better than national figures, which is why blacks from the other 49 states are voting with their feet and electing the pro-business environment of Texas. All Texans, including the African American community, are looking for a leader with a vision for Texas’ future, and has become clear during this campaign that leader is not Senator Davis.”
Early voting continues through Friday, October 31 and election day is on Tuesday, November 4.
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