Wendy Davis’ daughters step in to defend their mother’s life story

Dana Davidsen


(CNN) — The two daughters of Texas state senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis penned their support of their mother, as well as her personal history, in open letters released Tuesday.

Questions over Davis’ personal story as a teenage mother who rose out of poverty by putting herself through college to become a Texas lawmaker arose earlier this month after a report by the Dallas Morning News highlighted discrepancies in her account.

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Dru, Davis’ daughter with her second husband, Jeff Davis, wrote in an effort to “set the record straight” after critics have slammed her mother for leaving out key parts of her history.

“She never missed a school performance or a parent-teacher conference. Even if that meant she had to miss something else important. My sister and I were always her first priority. She was there when I needed her and even when I thought I didn’t,” she said in the letter.

Amber, Davis’ eldest daughter from her first marriage, wrote: “I have spent the past few days reading the ludicrous comments that people have shared on social media about my mother and our family.”

Those judging the merits of Davis’ account of her history have questioned the Texas lawmaker’s account of how long she lived in a trailer as a single mother. She has also taken heat for rarely mentioning her second ex-husband, who cashed out his 401(k) largely to help her go to Harvard Law School.

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In her letter, Amber called her mom her “best friend.” And she pushed back against critics who have slammed Davis for abandoning her daughters when they were young to go to Harvard Law School. Amber and Dru mostly lived in Texas with Dru’s father, but Davis’ campaign says the girls lived in Boston during Davis’ first year of law school.

“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,” she wrote.

A rising star in the Democratic Party, Davis announced in October she would run for governor. She was launched into the national spotlight for a now-famous 2013 filibuster against an abortion bill.

In her interview with the Dallas Morning News, Davis admitted “My language should be tighter,” when recounting her personal story.

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— CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.