Wendy Davis' inspiring life story smooths over some details

Jan. 21, 2014 at 12:47 AM
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DALLAS, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis' trailer park-to-Harvard Law School story is true in outline but mushy on details, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Davis, a Democrat, became a national political star last year when she filibustered for 11 hours against a bill to restrict abortions. She then decided to run for governor, an office held by Republicans since George W. Bush, a future president, ousted Ann Richards in 1994.

In an interview last week, Davis acknowledged to the Morning News that some of the details in her biography are not as sharp as they should be.

"My language should be tighter," she said. "I'm learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail."

Davis, for example, said she became a single mother at 19 when she and her first husband divorced. The divorce did not actually become final until she was 21.

She and her daughter only lived in a trailer for a few months. She married while she was a student at Texas Christian University and her second husband, Jeff Davis, helped her finish school and even cashed in his 401k retirement fund to help put her through law school.

Jeff Davis also cared for their daughter and his stepdaughter in Fort Worth, while his wife was studying in Cambridge, Mass.

Davis worked several jobs as a teenager after her parents split up and her father decided to pursue his theatrical ambitions, opening a dinner-theater in Fort Worth. She met Jeff Davis while she was working for her father.

When she and Jeff Davis divorced, he got custody of their daughter, with Wendy paying $1,200 in child support.

Jeff Davis said his ex-wife did have a tough time until she turned 21: "A lot of what she says is true."

"She got a break," he told the Morning News. "Good things happen, opportunities open up. You take them; you get lucky. That's a better narrative than what they're trying to paint."

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