Abbott, Davis launch campaigns for November election

Abbott and Davis

Credit: WFAA

After winning their respective primaries, Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis opened their campaigns for Texas governor on March 5, 2014.

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 5 at 6:53 PM

DALLAS — Less than a day after winning the Republican nomination for governor, Greg Abbott got in front of cameras and spoke to select TV stations across the state, WFAA being the only one in North Texas.

As Abbott tries hard to lure Hispanics away from Democrats, he calls the state's DREAM Act — which provides in-state tuition to undocumented students — "flawed."

But as governor, Abbott would not say what he would do if the next legislature overturned the DREAM Act.

"I think it's just premature to know what those voices will be, who will be elected, and how they would vote on this or any other issue right now," Abbott said.

He also told News 8 that existing laws should be enforced rather than trying to pass the Lily Ledbetter Act, which would let women and others sue employers for the same pay their colleagues get.

“We actually have three laws in place that I will ensure as governor are fully enforced to ensure fair employment in the State of Texas; to ensure my daughter, my wife, and all women across the State of Texas are going to be fairly and fully compensated for the work they perform," Abbott said.

Wendy Davis spent her first day as the Democratic nominee for governor at two events in Austin. She spoke at a private breakfast for the Chamber of Commerce and then participated in an education panel at South By Southwest.

Though Davis was much less visible, she dismissed a question that Democrats were struggling to attract Hispanic voters after her primary challenger — an unknown candidate with a Hispanic surname — received 20 percent of the vote.

“You know, Greg Abbott has talked about those communities as being 'third world,'" Davis said. "I’ve gone to those communities, and I’ve talked to them about what we’re going to do in their future... what we’re going to do to make sure that the 800 kids who are being born every month in certain parts of South Texas are kids who are going to have a 21st century education, and they are going to be part of the 21st century economy.”

Like Abbott, Davis emphasized education as being an important part of her platform.

“We have the ability to move forward in excellence in education by embracing every tool available to us," she said. "As governor, it’s one of my education planks — that I will encourage our school districts to be innovative in the use of these tools, and that they’ll be rewarded when they show innovation."

Abbott told reporters to expect debates. It might be the first time both candidates will bring their positions into focus for the voters who will decide this election.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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