Liberal champion and Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis said she would take a second look at running for governor of the Lone Star State after she gained sudden national fame for successfully filibustering a controversial abortion bill.
Now that Republican Gov. Rick Perry has announced he won’t seek an unprecedented full fourth term in Austin in 2014, there’s a good chance Davis will take a third look and perhaps even throw her hat into the ring.
As Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth, became a heroine to the left, polls showed she improved her name recognition with the widely publicized abortion battle. But those surveys also showed that Davis would have a lot of work to do if she were to challenge Perry: Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm, had Davis trailing Perry earlier this month, 53 percent to 39 percent. For what it’s worth, other high-profile Texas Democrats such as San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Houston Mayor Annise Parker also lost to Perry in hypothetical matchups.
“Wendy Davis made a strong first impression on Texas voters last week, but the chances that the state turns blue in 2014 still look pretty slim,” PPC said in a statement publicizing the poll earlier this month. But that was before Perry’s decision Monday not to seek re-election as governor.
So will Wendy Davis run for governor? And can she win?
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Those answers to those questions have yet to play out, but David Weigel at Slate is saying not so fast to Davis winning should she enter the race.
That’s because, according to Weigel, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, has lined his campaign coffers with about $11.2 million to set himself up for a run for governor, anticipating that Perry would not seek a fourth term.
But over at liberal blog Daily Kos, the rallies held in Texas inspired by Davis’ filibuster were cited as an indication that not only can Davis win, but she might be successful in higher elected office.
In a post titled “This is why Wendy Davis will be the next Texas governor and maybe more,” Daily Kos blogger Egberto Willes said that Davis will have strong support among women if she were to mount a gubernatorial bid.
“Through her, many women and men feel not only empowered but a responsibility to be the change. After all, if a ‘tiny’ woman from humble beginnings can take on the task to defeat Goliath, it is the responsibility of every Texan to join the fight,” Willes wrote. “There is a change coming to Texas and it will be led by Texas women.”