Republican state Rep. Sarah Davis on voting for Gov. Greg Abbott: "It'll be hard to do that."
After the governor released multiple attack ads against her in her Republican primary race, state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, said she might "just not vote" in Gov. Greg Abbott's race for re-election this year.
Editor's note: Watch the full video and read a recap of Sarah Davis' interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith here.
State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, said Thursday that she won't support a Democrat for Texas governor in 2018 but can't commit to voting for her fellow Republican Greg Abbott.
“It'll be hard to do that,” she said of supporting the incumbent governor who has worked hard to unseat her in this year's Republican primary. "I would most likely just not vote."
Davis made the comments during a morning interview in Austin with The Texas Tribune's CEO, Evan Smith.
The governor has been targeting Davis, the chair of the House General Investigating and Ethics Committee, after a legislative session in which she criticized Abbott's decision not to include ethics reform among a priority list of 20 items for the special session.
So far, Abbott’s campaign has released four television advertisements endorsing Davis’ opponent Susanna Dokupil. Two of those ads were released recently and accuse Davis of supporting late-term abortion, interfering with Hurricane Harvey relief, blocking ethics reform and aligning with Abbott’s 2014 Democratic opponent Wendy Davis.
The representative denounced the claims and said Thursday that the ads lacked context. Still, she said she does not agree with a "no exceptions, no abortion ever" viewpoint — putting her in a rare position among Republican elected officials.
Still, Abbott’s move is unusual: Texas governors generally don’t endorse against incumbents in their same party.
“I don’t know if it’s about being a woman or about being a woman that he can’t control,” Davis said.
But should Davis and Abbott both be re-elected in November, the representative said she would “absolutely” work with the governor to further a Republican agenda. Despite their clashes, Davis said she believes Abbott is ethical, albeit sometimes hypocritical in his attacks on her support for ethics reform. And she said they would likely still agree on most issues.
At the Thursday event, Davis also refused to say if she voted for President Donald Trump. In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton had a 15-point advantage over Trump in Davis’ relatively moderate district. Davis has used this fact to warn that if her more conservative challenger wins the March primary, the seat could flip to the Democratic nominee in November.
She said she was a “traditional Republican” who was for personal freedom and limited state spending.
If Davis is victorious in March, she will face the winner of the Democratic primary race between Allison Lami Sawyer and Lloyd Wayne Oliver in the general election.
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