State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, joined The Texas Tribune on Thursday to discuss everything from her recent feud with the governor to her stance on abortion.
Watch the entire video above.
Here’s what she had to say:
She won’t likely vote for governor. After Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s repeated political jabs against her and his overwhelming public support for her primary competitor, Davis said it would be difficult to vote for his re-election. She also said she wouldn’t vote for a Democrat, and would likely “undervote,” meaning she wouldn’t fill in a vote for the governorship.
Within the past several weeks, Abbott’s campaign has spent $161,000 on ads backing Davis’ primary challenger Susanna Dokupil. Abbott’s push to unseat Davis is singular in its fervor. He has backed two other House Republicans’ primary challengers, but none as aggressively as Davis’.
“I don’t know if it’s about being a woman, or a woman he can’t control,” Davis said.
In the past, Davis and Abbott sparred over state ethics reform and Abbott’s claim that Davis engineered a bill that could have undercut Hurricane Harvey disaster relief funding. (Davis calls that charge misleading.) But, she said, if they both get re-elected, it wouldn’t impact their relationship in the Capitol. She said they agree more often than they disagree.
When asked what she’d say to Abbott if he were in the room, she responded: “I look forward to working with you next session.”
Dokupil’s anti-vaccine stance won’t bode well for HD-134. Davis said one of her main concerns with Dokupil’s campaign is its connection with the anti-vaccine movement. The district isn’t a straight-ticket voting region, she said, and being considered “anti-science” won’t fall on receptive ears.
“The district I represent is home to the world’s largest medical complex, and I represent close to 7,000 doctors,” Davis said.
The district also voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. If Davis loses the primary, the district will fall into a Democrat’s hands, she said.
“Pro-choice” – but with nuance. The terms “pro-choice” and “pro-life” leave no room for middle ground in the abortion debate, Davis said. The label “pro-life,” she said, means no exceptions, no abortions, never. Meanwhile, people consider “pro-choice” to mean abortions on demand, paid for by the government and at any point prior to birth, she said. “I’m not in either of those camps,” she said.
We need to be having a different conversation around guns. Since she was first elected to the Texas House in 2010, Davis has voted in support of the Second Amendment, she said. She’s voted for open carry and campus carry, although with some restrictions. In the wake of Wednesday’s mass shooting in Florida, Davis said the conversation about guns needs to change.
She said the federal government needs to revisit its background check system and that the nation needs to begin having a broader conversation about mental health.
“We need to come to grips with the fact that we have some very disturbed people that we need to be able to identify before they show up and begin to start shooting people,” she said.