Negative campaign ads surface as Governor's race heats up

Senator Wendy Davis calls out Attorney General Greg Abbott for siding with corporation

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The governor's race is heating up and so are the campaign ads.

This month the Wendy Davis campaign released an ad that accuses her opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, of siding with big corporations over a rape victim.

Davis made a stop in San Antonio Wednesday to address the backlog of more than 18,000 untested rape kits and how the law she wrote will ensure more DNA testing of the kits.

However, she also called out Abbot during the press conference for siding with a corporation.

Davis' accusation is detailed in her campaign's new TV ad.

"He sided for a corporation over a survivor of sexual assault," said Davis. "I think his lack of concern for sexual assault survivors is the one that needs to be answered."

The Greg Abbott campaign responded Wednesday with this statement from Amelia Chasse, deputy communications director of Texans for Greg Abbott:

"This ad is a continuation of the type of rhetoric we've seen from a candidate who is paper-thin on substance and running a failing campaign devoid of any real vision for the future of Texas. Texans deserve better than the gutter politics they are getting from Sen. Davis.

"No one has a stronger record fighting the heinous crime of sexual assault than Greg Abbott. Not only did he create dedicated units to arrest and prosecute sex offenders and protect women and children from assault, he's responsible for putting more offenders in jail than all of his predecessors combined. In the case referenced in Sen. Davis' despicable ad, Greg Abbott's decision left intact the liability against the sex offender and his employer. No amount of desperate distortion attempts or token ad buys by Sen. Davis can change the facts of Greg Abbott's record of fighting for Texans."

Dr. Bryan Gervais, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, said because the Davis campaign is behind 12 to 18 percentage points right now and because she is in a Democrat in a "red" state, her negative TV ad is not surprising.

"While Abbott may take a hit, voters may see the ad and say, 'Hey. He's backing the corporation over a rape victim.' Davis might take a hit as well, where people may be less supportive or her because she is the one doing the attacking here," Gervais said.

The Abbott campaign also released an ad recently, criticizing Davis for flip-flopping on her stance on the death penalty.

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