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Wendy Davis, Greg Abbott strike big on donor money

Contributing Reporter

Published: Monday, January 20, 2014

Updated: Monday, January 20, 2014 23:01

davis

L. M. Otero | Associated Press

Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, speaks to reporters.

Who are you voting for in the Texas Gubernatorial race?

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The money is already flowing in Texas’s 2014 gubernatorial campaigns.

Frontrunners Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott have collectively raised more than $20 million from contributors around the country since each announced their candidacy.

Abbott has raised more than $7,000 from donations in Huntsville while Wendy David has only raised $500, according to campaign filings. Davis raised a total of $12.2 million as of Dec. 31, while Abbott raised $11.5 million.

Davis came into the national spotlight in June 2013 when she filibustered a bill that eventually closed several abortion clinics across Texas through new regulations. Three months later, in October, Davis announced she would be running for the Texas governor seat.

After 13 years in office, incumbent Rick Perry announced he will not seek re-election after being the longest person in Texas history to hold the governor position. Republican favorite Greg Abbott hopes to keep the governorship red by winning votes in the upcoming election.

Both candidates agree that education is their top priority. Abbott said he will improve Texas education by fighting against federal curriculum known as CSCOPE/Common Core.

In an interview with Bob Price of Texas GOP Vote, Abbott said he doesn't think Texas needs to look far from home when educating our children.

“I know that principals, teachers, parents here in the state of Texas know far more how to educate our students than do these bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.,” Abbott said.

Davis recently unveiled a plan for Texas education by helping school districts create programs that encourage students to go into a teaching profession and said she's the person to do it. In an education roundtable at University of Texas in Arlington, Davis said she has her own plans for education by putting more teachers in classrooms across Texas.

“Texas leadership hasn't really provided the focus and the priority on education that it demands and that it deserves,” Davis said.

Another hot topic between the two candidates is the voter I.D. law that passed in 2013. Now, voters are required to present matching state issued photo IDs and their voter registration card. Before the law was passed, Texas voters only needed to present their registration card.

According to Abbott’s website, he believes because of voter fraud throughout Texas and the country that voter restrictions should be stricter. Davis said the voter I.D. law will shy constituents away from voting.

Davis gained first-hand experience of the new voter I.D. law after she was asked to sign an affidavit because the name on her registration card didn't match the name on her I.D. In an interview with KERA News, Davis said she was concerned for woman who changed their name due to marriage or divorce and would be turned away at the polls because not all of their documentation was consistent.

“Women will show up to vote and they’ll be turned away because they don’t have that documentation,” Davis said. “Women will be disenfranchised as a consequence of the interpretation of the voter I.D. law as it’s been applied.”

This isn’t the first voting battle in which Davis entangled herself. In 2011, Davis and the League of United Latin American Citizens sued Texas Republicans for attempting to pass a redistricting plan would reduce the numbers of minorities in areas of North Texas. Davis won the case and the defendants were ordered to pay her back for the almost $600,000 that she spent on legal fees.

The Texas Attorney General, who is coincidentally her opponent Abbott, is responsible for the reimbursement.

State elections are Nov. 4.

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