Wendy Davis’s gubernatorial campaign released a new ad Monday attacking Republican opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott over oversight of a Texas cancer research center — the same cancer research center that’s at the heart of the indictment targeting Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).
The ad “Manuel” features cancer survivor Manuel Alvarado describing how Abbott mishandled oversight of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) while he was part of the office’s oversight committee. Abbott, the ad argues, “was charged with overseeing the state cancer research fund. But he let his wealthiest donors to take tens of millions in taxpayer dollars without proper oversight.”
“I pray that Greg Abbott never becomes our governor,” Alvarado said in the ad.
The CPRIT part is how the ad also links to Perry. The CPRIT was the target of a probe by the public integrity unit run by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg (D) after the cancer center was awarded millions of dollars for projects that had allegedly not been completely screened, according to The Wall Street Journal. Democrats argue that Perry vetoed funding of Lehmberg’s office in response to the public integrity unit investigating the CPRIT. And it is this veto threat that led to Perry’s indictment earlier this month.
The Abbott campaign called the ad “deceptive,” according to the Texas Tribune. Abbot spokesman Matt Hirsch pointed to recent reports which said that a prosecutor who was involved in a criminal investigation of the CPRIT did not find any evidence of corruption by members of the CPRIT board.
The Davis campaign said the ad is being run in multiple markets.
The TPM Polltracker average gives Abbott an 8-point lead over Davis.
Watch the new Davis campaign ad below: