Wendy Davis Announces Bid for Governor
By: Ben Carpenter, Contributor
Riding a wave of excitement and new found fame following her filibuster at the end of this year’s first called Special Session, Wendy Davis announced today that she will run for Governor of Texas in 2014. An announcement many Texans were craving, Davis will challenge the presumptive republican nominee, Greg Abbott. Considering no democrat has won a statewide election in Texas in 20 years, Davis will need more than her consistent legislative record and newfound fame to win this election. But even so, can she win?
Texas Democrats have been pressing Davis to run for governor ever since her famous filibuster that battled the women’s health bill. Democratic leaders say that she will be a huge competition to AG Greg Abbott, but even if Davis doesn’t win, she will dramatically elevate the conversation of Texas turning blue. Grace Garcia, a former deputy in the Clinton White House and a senior adviser in the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton regarding Davis said “I believe that Texas will be a better state if she were our governor.”
Indeed, supporters believe she would make Texas a better state, simply because of her ability to relate to so many Texans whose lives aren’t as privileged as some. Davis’ incredible life story is what first raised so many eyebrows in the political arena. At age 14 she began working to help support her single mother and three siblings. At 19, a single mother herself, she began working two jobs to make ends meet, before becoming the first in her family to earn a college degree and going on to the prestigious Harvard Law School. Davis then served 9 years on the Fort Worth City Council before running for her current Senate seat. It should be noted that she won her Senate seat against an incumbent republican in what was regarded a republican district.
Now she devotes her life to standing up for Texas women who, once like her, don’t have someone fighting for them. Earlier this year, Davis penned an article in the Washington Post explaining why she stands up for Texas women:‘ I spent nearly 13 hours filibustering this bill. I stood up to filibuster the bill because Texas Republican leaders would rather pursue a partisan agenda than help Texas women.’
Davis may have not been a household name until the recent filibuster, but she does have a strong legislative record to campaign on. Two sessions ago, she battled a bill by staging a filibuster in attempt to stop $5 billion in cuts to Texas public schools. She has fought for women’s health care, to bring justice to rape victims by bringing attention to Texas backlog of thousands of DNA samples collected from sexual assaults in order to lock up sexual assault predators before they were able to commit more crimes, and has fought to protect the Veterans’ Assistance Fund from being used to fill budget gaps.
So the question remains, can she win? The Houston Chronicle recently reported a Texas Lyceum poll finding Abbott with an early 29% to 22% lead. Thus, some 50% of those polled stated they were undecided as its too early in the race to be decided. If Ms. Davis can somehow convince 6 out of 10 early undecided voters she is the right choice for Texas, she will be moving into the governor’s mansion. Abbott will be the favorite and should be. But I would not count out Davis. Her own history shows that if given a fighting chance, she can overcome all odds.
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