Wendy Davis violated Texas election law, GOP opponent alleges

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Story highlights

  • Greg Abbott's campaign manager files complaint with state ethics board
  • Davis traveled to New York on campaign's dime for fundraiser and to promote book
  • Her campaign says it's on the level, but Abbott's campaign is calling the actions illegal
The Republican campaign battling Democrat Wendy Davis for the Texas governorship filed a complaint on Thursday accusing Davis of violating state election law.
The Greg Abbott campaign's complaint comes just a day after Davis returned from a campaign-funded trip to New York, where she promoted her recently released book and attended a campaign fundraising event, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Davis, a state senator, soared into the national spotlight in 2013 when she helped thwart the first effort to pass an anti-abortion bill after holding the Texas Senate floor during a 10-hour filibuster.
Wayne Hamilton, Republican candidate Abbott's campaign manager, wrote that Davis "converted political contributions to her personal use" in the complaint filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.
But Davis spokesman Zac Petkanas fired back, asserting that the campaign funded the trip so Davis could attend a "campaign event" in New York and did nothing illegal.
Wendy Davis' Texas-sized battle
Wendy Davis' Texas-sized battle

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Wendy Davis' Texas-sized battle 05:36
"Any other non-campaign activities were scheduled by and covered by the appropriate parties not affiliated with the campaign," Petkanas told the Houston Chronicle.
Petkanas added: "One way you can tell this is a politically motivated and frivolous complaint is that the Abbott campaign filed it today without waiting for the legal opinion they requested on Monday."
Matt Hirsch, Abbott's spokesman, accused Davis of violating state law and called her actions "outright unlawful."
"From her history of profiteering at the expense of Texas taxpayers while in the Legislature to using campaign funds to promote a book that enriches her personally, Sen. Davis has demonstrated blatant disregard for ethical standards Texans expect from their candidates," Hirsch said, according to the Chronicle.
Davis appeared on CNN, MSNBC and ABC this week from New York.
Davis is the underdog in the Texas fight as Abbott, the state's attorney general, holds on to a lead of at least 8 points in polls from this summer.