Republican candidate takes aim at Sen. Davis' abortion stance



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Posted on August 14, 2013 at 5:28 PM

FORT WORTH — A political campaign to unseat State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) is getting personal on the issue of abortion.

Davis’ 13-hour filibuster against a bill limiting abortion made her a national Democratic star. She framed the issue as a Republican attack on women's health care.

Republican State Senate candidate Konni Burton Wednesday released a video online of one of her own two adopted daughters attacking Davis on abortion.

“I am thankful for the strength my birth mother had when she chose to place me up for adoption,” said 22-year-old Tori Burton in the video.

"Tori was more than happy to do that,” Konni Burton said. “It was a joy to do that with her."

Konni Burton said the idea for the video actually began with a Facebook post by Tori, who was upset with Sen. Davis.

"We decided we needed to get the message out that my children are here because they were not aborted," candidate Burton said.

She volunteered for years at the Edna Gladney Adoption Center, campaigned hard for Sen. Ted Cruz, and said Wendy Davis' stand on abortion — which brought her attention — will ultimately be her undoing.

"The fact that she filibustered has been only a huge gift to me," Konni Burton said, adding that the highly personal video —   although not being broadcast on any TV station — has already energized her base.

"My Facebook and Twitter have just gone crazy," she said.

News 8 sought reaction to the video from Sen. Davis, Planned Parenthood, and the Tarrant County Democratic Party. None offered comment.

Burton must first beat Dr. Mark Shelton in the Republican primary for a chance to take on Davis —  if Davis decides to defend her seat. The Democratic lawmaker has indicated that she might instead choose to run for governor.

Shelton came within two points of beating Davis in the last election.

One Democratic observer, Matt Angle with the Lone Star Project, said Burton’s video is actually aimed more at Mark Shelton than Sen. Davis as Republican candidates position themselves for the primary fight.