In an election year in which Hispanic voters are crucial to Democratic success, the first feud of the now-official general election gubernatorial match-up is being fueled by state Sen. Wendy Davis’ primary performance on the border.
Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat who will face Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott in November, won the statewide nomination handily. But she lost several border counties with large Hispanic populations — including counties in the Rio Grande Valley and the Laredo area — to Corpus Christi Municipal Court Judge Ray Madrigal, a candidate with no statewide name recognition. According to a report filed at the Texas Ethics Commission, he also raised and spent no money on his campaign.
Abbott campaign officials and allies were quick to jump on Davis’ losses in left-leaning South Texas — a region where Davis has campaigned and must come out strong if she hopes to be competitive in November. Her numbers, while well above Abbott’s in those counties, boosted Republicans’ argument that Hispanics may not be a given for Davis’ camp. Abbott’s first general election rally will be held this week in Edinburg, in the Rio Grande Valley.