USA TODAY - The daughters of Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis are defending their mom amid questions about the Democrat's biography.
"I hate that I feel the need to write this, but I have been reading and hearing so many untrue things about my mom and I want to set the record straight," writes Dru Davis, the state senator's younger daughter, in an open letter released by the candidate's campaign.
Wendy Davis has been under fire since the Dallas Morning News reported earlier this month that "some facts have been blurred" in the Democrat's narrative as a single teenage mother who lived in a trailer park but then went on to Harvard Law School.
The newspaper reported that Davis was 21, not 19, when she got divorced from her first husband, Frank Underwood, and then lived only for a few months with eldest daughter, Amber, in a mobile home. The story also shed more light into the financial help provided by Jeff Davis, the senator's second husband.
"Yes, we lived in a trailer. Does it matter how long? Not to me," wrote Amber Davis, now 31.
Both daughters push back on the idea that they were left by their mother to be raised by Dru's father, Jeff Davis, as she attended Harvard. Amber wrote this in her letter:
I have recently heard the phrase "abandoned" quite often in the past week. That our mother "left us to be raised by our father" while she went on to pursue her education. Not only is this ridiculously unfair; it's completely untrue. Dru and I have always been her number one priority. Always. And every decision our parents made was with our best interests at heart. We had an amazing support system while she was at Harvard and she was constantly traveling back and forth from school to be with us.
Dru Davis, now 25, explained why she and her sister ended up staying with her dad in Texas while their mother went to school in Cambridge, Mass.
We lived with her the first semester, but I had severe asthma and the weather there wasn't good for me. My parents made a decision for my sister and me to stay in Texas while my mom kept going to school. But that doesn't mean she wasn't there for us. She traveled back and forth all the time, missing so many classes so that she could be with us. Her friends were such a big help.
Wendy Davis told the Dallas newspaper she learned her "language should be tighter" and "more focused on the detail." It's too early to tell what impact the daughters' letters will have. One thing that's clear: Davis faces an uphill battle in Republican-red Texas. She and Attorney General Greg Abbott are expected to face off in the fall. No Democrat holds statewide office in Texas, and Ann Richards, in 1990, was the last Democrat elected governor.
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