Wendy Davis releases ad attacking Chip Roy for defunding police

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Democratic congressional candidate Wendy Davis released her sixth TV ad on Friday. 

The ad focuses on the safety of Davis’ granddaughters and her family.

“I’m Wendy Davis and we need criminal justice reform, but I don’t support defunding the police,” Davis says in the ad. 

“I’ve worked with law enforcement to pass bipartisan legislation to protect people and give justice to victims,” she continues. “But Chip Roy actually did vote against funding for police officers, more than once.”

The two votes taken by Roy and referred to by Davis were appropriations bills for 2020 and 2021 that approved funding for federal agencies, including law enforcement or defense agencies.

Davis made similar comments about her opposition to defunding the police during her debate against Roy on Tuesday night.

“I do not believe in defunding the police, but I do believe that we can have reform without doing that,” she said during the debate. “We can make sure that we are giving our police the resources they need to keep our communities safe.”

Roy attacked Davis for comments she made in an interview with KXAN last month. Davis said she “would not second-guess the decision by the Austin City Council to reimagine public safety,” according to KXAN

“I don’t think we have to divide our support in either of these directions in order to accomplish the goals that we want to see,” Davis said at the time, supporting banning chokeholds and ending qualified immunity for officers. 

In August, Austin City Council voted to cut its police department budget by $20 million and reinvest the money into public health and safety programs. The proposal voted on by Austin City Council will ultimately target up to $150 million of the police department budget in multiple phases that reassign police functions. 

The move has been a hot-button attack issue for Republicans in competitive races who are trying their best to refocus the 2020 election to police funding instead of Donald Trump and the federal response to COVID-19.

Davis is running in Texas’ 21st congressional district, which stretches from Austin to the San Antonio area. On Tuesday, Davis announced she had raised $3.4 million in the latest fundraising quarter, totaling $7.8 million for the cycle. Roy has yet to release his fundraising report. Polling shows the two candidates locked in a virtual tie.

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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