- (Photo: Reuters/Mike Stone)
In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Texas gubernatorial candidate and pro-choice activist Wendy Davis admitted that some of the facts she has presented of her biography were "loose" on the details. The article suggests Davis has been more concerned about her career than the well-being of her children.
Davis, a Texas state senator, was propelled to national stardom after filibustering a 20-week abortion ban. She used her newfound celebrity to fundraise and launch a bid to become the Democratic nominee for governor of Texas.
During the filibuster and her numerous media interviews, she presented herself as a struggling single mother who was able to work hard and achieve financial success.
The bio on her campaign website reads: "Raised by a single mother with a sixth grade education, Wendy began working after school at age 14 to help support her mom and three siblings. By 19, she was on her way to becoming a single mother, working two jobs just to make ends meet.
"... Wendy enrolled at Tarrant County Community College. After two years, she transferred to Texas Christian University. With the help of academic scholarships, student loans, and state and federal grants, Wendy became the first person in her family to earn a bachelor's degree, graduated first in her class, and went on to Harvard Law School."
That narrative, though, is misleading by leaving out important details. It suggests that Davis was able to complete a Harvard law degree while raising her children alone. Davis was married, though, at age 24 and her husband both cared for her two daughters (one from her first marriage) and paid for her education.
"My language should be tighter," she told The Dallas Morning News. "I'm learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail."
Davis left her first husband when she was 19. They divorced when she was 21.
The part of her narrative that is true is that between ages 19 and 24 she was a single mom, working two jobs and attending college. She struggled financially in those years.
Wendy Davis met and began dating Jeff Davis when she was 21. They married when she was 24.
Jeff, who was making a six-figure salary, paid for her final two years at Texas Christian University, then cashed out his retirement account and took out a loan to pay for her to attend Harvard Law School.
Their two daughters lived in Texas with Jeff while Wendy attended Harvard in Massachusetts. After Harvard, Wendy moved back to Texas and began her law and political career.
She left Jeff in 2003 after he paid off her student loan.
"I made the last payment, and it was the next day she left," Jeff told The Dallas Morning News.
Wendy told The Dallas Morning News that the notion that she waited until the loan was paid to leave her husband is "absurd."
When they got divorced, their oldest daughter was 21 and in college and their youngest daughter was in ninth grade. Jeff was given custody and Wendy was ordered to pay child support.
According to Jeff, Wendy approved of giving him custody and told him, "It's not a good time for me right now."
A former colleague of Wendy who preferred to remain anonymous told The Dallas Morning News that she cared more about her political ambitions than her children.
"She's not going to let family or raising children or anything else get in her way," he said.
While adding that "she'd be a good governor," the source said that the narrative of Wendy Davis' biography presented by her campaign is mostly false: "She's going to find a way, and she's going to figure out a way to spin herself in a way that grabs at the heart strings. A lot of it isn't true about her, but that's just us who knew her."
Many conservatives and pro-life activists are sharing the article on Monday, just two days before the annual March for Life.
"Having grown up with a single mom, I find Davis' fabrication of her story a total insult," conservative radio personality Dana Loesch tweeted.