Yesterday, Texas State Senator, Wendy Davis (SD10), announced in Haltom City, that she intended to run for Texas Governor:
Davis promised to be an advocate for those who feel they no longer have a voice in the halls of the Texas Capitol, to fight for more education dollars and to take on Republicans leaders who she said are listening to their campaign contributors instead of average Texans.
Notice something missing? For a heretofore little known state senator who found herself receiving national attention and accolades from Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Pres. Barack Obama over her 11 hour filibuster of an abortion bill, as long time Dallas Morning News reporter, Wayne Slater, pointed out, “the one thing she didn’t talk about — the very thing that has made her suddenly a viable statewide candidate — was conspicuously absent.” No doubt, Team Davis would like to move on to other issues as they make an attempt at the Governor’s Mansion in Austin, but Slater elaborates further on why they can’t hide from the abortion issue:
Thursday’s kickoff announcement was not the place to discuss abortion or women’s health care. But because those issues will most certainly be a subtext of her opponent’s attacks against her, Davis is going to have to find a way to talk about them.
Democratic primary voters have no problem with her advocacy of abortion rights. But Texas is a conservative state, and polls show that a majority of Texans support the 20-week abortion ban in the bill Davis filibustered. Many of those are moderate voters that she will need to win in November 2014.
Davis, anticipating the attacks, spoke of her service on the Fort Worth City Council, where she said she developed a reputation as a bipartisan consensus builder.
“I didn’t have a partisan affiliation by my name, and I didn’t govern with one either. When I meet folks who want the same thing but disagree about how to get there, I invite them to sit down at the table and hash out a solution working together with respect and an open mind,” she said. “Real leaders know that our problems deserve real solutions. That’s the approach I brought to Austin.”
Those are good words, but they are contradicted by her recent actions. The Weekly Standard linked to a video where the highly partisan Rep. Nancy Pelosi was spotted leaving one of Davis’ Washington D.C., fundraisers this past summer, and The Huffington Post shared the equally partisan invite list of another fundraiser in D.C. Davis has also been no stranger to viewers of the very partisan news channel, MSNBC. Finally, whatever bi-partisan street cred Ms. Davis would like to tout was basically wiped out by the carnival that erupted during her summer filibuster. If Wendy Davis “didn’t have a party affiliation” by her name before, it’s firmly affixed there now.
Not only will Davis have to answer for her support of abortion after 20 weeks (almost 5 months into a pregnancy), but she’ll have to answer for comments made on gun control, on natural gas drilling in the Barnett, and her previous filibuster over an education bill in 2011. A full blown campaign will hopefully tease out more issues, and I am curious to see what Davis’ pitch will be for the state. She won’t be the first female governor, as Miriam “Ma” Ferguson beat her to it, and Ann Richards was no shrinking violet. Ever since the Great Recession started, Texas has weathered the storm better than other parts of the nation. It’s a low tax, business friendly environment, and the Eagle Ford Shale Play and Permian Basin are cranking out oil, natural gas and jobs for people statewide. While the state is not without its shortcomings (stay your surprise, we Texans are capable of introspection now and then), things are pretty good. While I have no love for the Republican Party, I’m not about to hand the keys over to the Democrat Party, either. Especially since Eric Holder and his Department of Justice seem so obsessed with going after Texas over its voter identification law. Texans, understandably, don’t feel the need to ask permission from D.C., and as of now, don’t appear to want D.C. style regulations and high taxes. If that’s what Ms. Davis intends on bringing to Austin, no thank you.
While many may scoff at Ms. Davis’ chances of winning in 2014, I do hope her likely opponent, current State Attorney General Gregg Abbott, isn’t taking this race for granted. This interview and the ads released yesterday give me hope that Team Abbott does in fact take Davis’ run and the DNC’s dream of turning Texas blue, deadly seriously: