Democrats in U.S. Senate Race Spar Over Abortion

Retired dentist David Alameel of Dallas has the backing of state Sen. Wendy Davis in his bid for U.S. Senate, but a primary opponent is questioning his support of abortion rights.

David Alameel, L, and Maxey Scherr, two of the Democrats running for the U.S. Senate.
David Alameel, L, and Maxey Scherr, two of the Democrats running for the U.S. Senate.

In the five-way Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, the highest-profile candidate's stance on abortion is drawing closer scrutiny.

Retired dentist David Alameel of Dallas is making his second run for Congress after spending $4.5 million in an unsuccessful bid for an open U.S. House seat in 2012. 

Last week, state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, endorsed Alameel in the race. In her endorsement, Davis did not mention abortion rights, the issue that was the focus of her 13-hour filibuster in 2013. That, and past contributions that Alameel has made to Republican candidates, has prompted some activists to question his commitment to abortion rights.  

On Wednesday, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion a legal right, Alameel sent out a letter highlighting his support for a woman's access to abortion and decrying "the continued Republican attacks on choice."

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El Paso attorney Maxey Scherr, another Democrat in the race, is making an issue of Alameel's past contributions to Republican candidates. 

"David Alameel, the alleged Democrat running for the US Senate, has bankrolled the anti-choice Republican agenda for years," Scherr wrote in a recent email to supporters.

Scherr added in a phone interview that she is skeptical of Alameel's current commitment to abortion rights.

“If he’s for these things, how come he’s given $1.6 million to the candidates and causes that have fought to block choice for women?" she said.

When asked about Scherr's claim, the campaign released the following statement:

“David Alameel is a longtime, proud pro-choice Democrat and strong supporter of Roe v. Wade, which the Supreme Court set as the law of the land decades ago. It’s unfortunate that some politicians feel the need to fling baseless accusations at fellow Democrats to score political points instead of working together to highlight Senator John Cornyn’s extreme, anti-choice record in Washington.”

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Along with Alameel and Scherr, three other Democrats are running for U.S. Senate: businessman Michael Fjetland, Odessa physician Harry Kim and Kesha Rogers of Houston, a LaRouche candidate who favors the impeachment of President Obama.

Cornyn is in an eight-way Republican primary for his party's nomination. 

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