Wendy Davis: Ready to ride for governor of Texas?
Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator famous for her 13-hour filibuster over abortion rights, spoke at the National Press Club in Washington. The Democrat sounded like a possible candidate for governor.
Governor of Texas or another term in the state Senate?Skip to next paragraph
Linda Feldmann is a staff writer for the Monitor based in Washington.
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Wendy Davis, a rising Democratic star in the Lone Star State, narrowed her campaign choices to those two Monday in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, telling reporters afterward she'd announce which one she’s running for “hopefully in just the next couple of weeks.”
State Senator Davis shot to national fame on June 25 during an epic 13-hour filibuster in the Texas Legislature over restrictive new abortion regulations. Her effort killed the legislation, only to see it passed when Gov. Rick Perry (R) called another special session.
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Still, Davis is now a hot political commodity, and it’s not hard to imagine her seizing the moment and going for the open governor’s seat. Governor Perry is not running for reelection. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is favored to win the Republican nomination.
Davis would face an uphill battle in a state that has not elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994. Indeed, polls show Davis well behind Mr. Abbott in early matchups. Abbott reportedly has almost $21 million on hand, compared with just $1 million for Davis. (She held two fundraisers in Washington on July 25.)
Nevertheless, Democrats are eager for her to run for governor in a red state they believe is on the road to becoming a “purple” battleground, as the state’s Hispanic population grows. Politico reports that Davis has had conversations with the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), which helps Democrats get elected governor; Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) of Vermont, the chairman of the DGA, called Davis to congratulate her after her filibuster.
“I’m thinking very carefully about it for myself and my family,” Davis said after her press club speech. “Obviously, it’s a huge task to take on, and I want to make sure that it’s the right thing for me, and also that it’s something that hopefully our state would want to see.”
In her address, Davis took her message beyond the confines of reproductive rights, highlighting “the importance of having a voice” on a range of issues: from the state’s “very underfunded public school system” and the fights for equal pay for women and consumer reform to the needs of returning veterans and the importance of building bipartisan coalitions.