Wendy Davis’ Campaign Furious Dem Guv Group Won’t Prioritize Texas

Democrat candidate for Texas governor Wendy Davis speaks at a live discussion with The Texas Tribune on Thursday, March 6, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Davis will face Republican Greg Abbott. (AP Photo/The Daily Texan, Jonathan Garza)
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Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis’s campaign is in a bit of a feud with the Democratic Governors Association.

After Democratic Governors Association chairman and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin did not list the Texas gubernatorial race as a top target for Democrats this cycle, Davis’s campaign manager, Karin Johanson, shot back.

“The uninformed opinions of a Washington, DC desk jockey who’s never stepped foot in Texas couldn’t be less relevant to what’s actually happening on the ground,” Johanson said in a statement according to the San Antonio Express-News. “The Davis campaign is constructing an operation never before seen in Texas that’s built on the hard work of 15,000 volunteers who knocked on more than 55,000 doors in one weekend, more than 120,000 individual donors and a candidate who is exciting voters in a way not seen since Ann Richards’ come from behind victory.”

In a followup, Davis campaign communications director Zac Petkanas said Johanson was talking about “whoever at the DGA prepared the governor’s talking points.”

At a Third Way event on Tuesday, Shumlin listed Maine, Florida, and Pennsylvania as top gubernatorial races for Democrats to win this cycle. Shumlin also mentioned Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan as the second-tier races that could be good for Democrats.

Democrats are poised to pick up a few governors’ mansions this cycle and the Texas gubernatorial race, between Davis and Attorney General Greg Abbot (R) has been, arguably, the most high-profile race. Still, Davis’s chances of winning are far from a sure thing.

The Republican Governors Association piled on to the spat.

“It’s no surprise the Davis campaign got upset with proclaimed Washington D.C. desk jockey Peter Shumlin – he clearly doesn’t believe she should be treated as a credible candidate,” RGA spokesman Jon Thompson said in a statement to TPM.

In a statement to TPM in response to the initial report on Shumlin’s remarks, DGA communications director Danny Kanner said that Shumlin’s comments did not mean Davis is not a strong candidate.

“Governor Shumlin stated the obvious fact that Texas has historically been a tough state for Democrats, but that — because we have a strong candidate — we are hopeful about our chances this year,” Kanner said.

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