Donations Pour In For Wendy Davis After Abortion Filibuster

 @pemalevy on August 30 2013 5:38 PM
Wendy Davis-July 12, 2013
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Tarrant County, listens as the Senate meets in Austin to consider legislation restricting abortion rights in Texas on July 12. Reuters/Mike Stone

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Tarrant County, is being urged to run for governor after an 11-hour filibuster against Texas’ latest anti-abortion bill propelled her to national fame. She has also raked in more than $1.2 million in just over a month since the filibuster.

In the six weeks following her June 25 filibuster, Davis raised more than $1.2 million, the Dallas Morning News reported Thursday. Almost $800,000 came from inside Texas, and about $470,000 came from outside the state. That makes for an impressive war chest for Davis in 2014, when she will either run to keep her current senate seat or make a run for the Texas Governor's Mansion.

Davis shot to national fame in June when she carried out a 11-hour filibuster to stop a law that would ban abortions in Texas after 20 weeks and place restrictions on state’s abortion clinics that are predicted to force most of them to close. The Legislature ultimately called a special session to pass the bill. Even if Davis’ efforts didn’t ultimately stop the law, they made her a darling of the Democratic Party and women’s groups overnight.

Since the filibuster, Davis’ fans and Democratic groups have encouraged her to run for higher office. A glowing profile in the September issue of Vogue month asked in its headline, “How Far Will Texas State Senator Wendy Davis Run?” On Aug. 5, Politico quoted Davis as telling an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, “I can say with absolute certainty that I will run for one of two offices: either for my state Senate seat or for the governor.”

That about one-third of her impressive fundraising haul came from outside Texas is evidence of Davis’ national appeal -- a fact that won’t erode the uphill climb faced by any Democrat seeking statewide office in the solidly red state. A significant amount of Davis’ money came from California, where contributions totaled $103,694, followed by New York at $68,764 and the Washington area at $59,000. The biggest out-of-state donors were labor groups and Planned Parenthood. According to Politico, Davis received contributions from nearly 24,000 individual donors, with an average donation of about $52.

Davis was expected to announce plans for her political future in the coming days, but on Thursday she said she would push back that announcement by several weeks while her father recovers from surgery-related complications, as the Dallas Morning News noted.

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