Wendy Davis’ stance on the issue of open carry gun laws was a political one, and not in line with her “core beliefs,” the failed Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate said in a recent interview.
“There is one thing that I would do differently in that campaign, and it relates to the position that I took on open carry,” Davis told the San Antonio Express-News in her first interview since losing to Republican Greg Abbott last month.
“I made a quick decision on that with a very short conversation with my team and it wasn’t really in keeping with what I think is the correct position on that issue,” Davis continued.
Seen as a shocker when she announced it back in February, Davis’ support for open carry did little to help her cause. The state senator lost to Abbott — the state’s attorney general — by 20 points.
Democrats were surprised by Davis’ stance on open carry — which allows gun owners to carry handguns in plain sight — since it was far out of whack with most Democrats. Republicans were not convinced by Davis’ support for the policy, claiming that she was trying to endear herself to voters in the conservative state.
Davis’ announcement came just weeks after her campaign suffered its first of many major blows when it was reported that she had fibbed about her background.
Davis’ new admission on her open carry stance appears to support those critiques.
“Though I certainly support people’s right to own and to bear arms in appropriate situations, I fear with open carry, having watched that issue unfold during the campaign, that it will be used to intimidate and cause fear,” Davis told the Express-News.
“What I do know is that as an elected public servant, I’ve always been true to my core beliefs. Always. And I’m so proud of that,” she added. “And this was the only time I felt like I’d strayed a bit from that.”
Abbott, a consistent supporter of gun rights, said he plans to enact open carry when he takes office next month. Texas is one of only five states in the U.S. — plus Washington D.C. — which do not allow open carry of handguns.
Davis’ gubernatorial campaign won her Texas Monthly’s Bum Steer Award, which is given annually to the lamest politician or policy in the state.