Wendy Davis Announces Run For Texas Governor
As expected, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis has announced that she’s running for Texas Governor in 2014:
HALTOM CITY, Texas — Democrat Wendy Davis promised a more populist and bipartisan state government in Texas as she declared her long-anticipated candidacy for governor Thursday, but she didn’t mention abortion rights, the subject that brought her to national attention.
Speaking before a hometown crowd where she received her high school diploma, the Fort Worth state senator tried to stake out the middle ground, vowing to represent the working class and improve public education, economic development and health care to Texas.
“Texans don’t want to sit back and watch Austin turn into Washington, D.C.,” Davis said. “State leaders in power keep forcing people to opposite corners to prepare for a fight instead of coming together to get things done.”
Davis has said that her experience going from being a single teen mother living in a trailer to a successful Harvard-trained attorney in the Texas Senate informed her political views. She said Texas needed to be “a lot less lone and a lot more star.”
“Until the families who are burning the candle at both ends can finally make ends meet, we will keep going. Until the amazing health care advances being pioneered in this state reach everyone who needs them, we will keep going,” she said to about 1,500 people at the Wiley G. Thomas Coliseum.
Davis then blasted “the current leadership” in Austin for creating a partisan atmosphere and appealing to the right wing of the Republican party.
“Texans deserve better than failed leaders who dole out favors to friends and cronies behind closed doors,” she said. “It’s time for a governor who believes that you don’t have to buy a place in Texas’ future. It’s time for a governor who believes that the future of Texas belongs to all of us.”
Republican Gov. Rick Perry has chosen not to seek re-election next year. The front-runner for the GOP nomination is Attorney General Greg Abbott, who said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that Davis is too liberal for Texas.
The Fix has a post this morning laying out the reasons why Davis faces an uphill battle, to put it mildly:
1. Texas is still a conservative state.While demographic shifts driven by a growing Hispanic population have stoked Democrats’ optimism about turning Texas blue, it simply isn’t going to happen overnight. For the moment, Texas is very conservative territory. We’re talking about a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat statewide since 1994, a state with strong social conservative views, and one that gave Mitt Romney more than 57 percent of the vote in 2012. This is also the state that sent cast-iron conservative Ted Cruz to the U.S. Senate. Davis is a state senator who became a national figure following her marathon filibuster of abortion restrictions. While she will have the liberal base (both nationally and in Texas) solidly behind her and will raise millions of dollars, Davis will also have to confront a conservative base fired up to oppose her. The reality is that Texas is not a natural fit for the profile Davis has been cutting.
2. We’ve heard this story before. This isn’t the first time a Democrat has jumped into a statewide race in Texas and instantly attracted buzz. It happened when former Houston mayor Bill White challenged Gov. Rick Perry (R) in 2010. And when now-United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk made a bid for the Senate in 2002. And when oilman Tony Sanchez ran for governor that same year. It’s a pattern that has repeated itself over and over again during the past decade. Will Davis break the cycle? It’s possible. But recent history certainly isn’t on her side.
Additionally, as the post goes on to note, presumptive Republican nominee Greg Abbott has a united state GOP behind him and, already, some $20 million in the bank with more than a year to go before Election Day and Abbott has already started tying Davis to President Obama, who remains deeply unpopular in the Lone Star State. Given all of this the idea that Davis could actually win this race seems rather fanciful. Is it possible? Certainly, anything is possible and we don’t know how the race will pan out over the coming 13 months. However, given what we know it certainly doesn’t appear to be very likely.