GOP Gubernatorial candidate Tom Pauken issued the following statement:

While I disagree philosophically with Wendy Davis, I recognize that she is a smart woman with a large number of determined supporters. This will pose a significant challenge to whoever is the GOP nominee in November.

“I believe that I will be the best candidate to take on Ms. Davis because I am not afraid to debate her on our contrasting points of views, conservative versus liberal, on the issues facing our state.

“While I believe she will attempt to campaign as a populist against Austin insiders she is in fact part of the problem and not a solution.

“I’m the only serious candidate in this race who unhesitatingly has taken on the Austin insiders on important issues such as overhauling our top-down, teach- to-the-test education system and reforming the way the government conducts itself.

“My experience in the private sector, as a military veteran, as a former agency director for President Ronald Reagan, and as a conservative with specific solutions to the problems facing our state make me better suited to run a successful race than my opponent, Greg Abbott, who ducks debates, muddies the issues, and is part of the Austin insider crowd that has been in power too long.

“I believe the Republican Party needs to nominate someone who will represent the average Texan in building a better Texas for tomorrow, not another Republican insider to face off against a San Francisco-style Democrat.”