Wendy Davis inches closer to running for Texas governor

August 6, 2013

By TODD J. GILLMAN and EMILY WILKINS, Dallas News -WASHINGTON — Edging closer to a bid for governor, state Sen. Wendy Davis declared Monday that her focus has narrowed to that race or a bid for re-election.

“I can say with absolute certainty that I will run for one of two offices,” said Davis. The Fort Worth Democrat is riding the attention showered on her during a filibuster that delayed a tough new abortion law.

She spoke at the National Press Club, one of the capital’s more prestigious platforms. She used the luncheon keynote to skewer Gov. Rick Perry and potential GOP rivals, and did nothing to discourage talk of a quest for higher office.

“A lot of people are asking me that question lately, as you can imagine, and I am working very hard to decide what my next steps will be,” she said. “In Texas, people feel we need a change from the very fractured, very partisan leadership we’re seeing in the state government right now.”

The Harvard-trained lawyer catapulted to national prominence with an 11-hour, pink-sneakered marathon on June 25 that temporarily derailed a bill to ban abortion in Texas after 20 weeks.

Texas Democrats eager for a champion in 2014 have urged her to capitalize on her fame. Until Monday, she hadn’t ruled out a bid for lower statewide office.

After the filibuster, Perry ordered another special session, and the law won swift approval. It will make it harder for abortion clinics to remain open, and Davis asserted that drastically curbing access to abortion early in pregnancy was the real goal.

That, she said, made the fight worthwhile.

Republicans have said that the measure was designed to ensure clinics meet tougher safety standards and to limit late-term abortions.

As for what Democrats must do to win statewide, she said, “First of all, people have to run.”

That was one of many hints she dropped during an hourlong appearance, half of it devoted to audience Q&A.

Matt Angle, a top Texas Democratic strategist and Davis ally, said he expects Davis’ decision on the governor’s race in “a matter of weeks, not a matter days.”

Peppered with questions about Democrats’ prospects in Texas, whether she is on a statewide ballot or not, she answered with caution.

She blamed low voter turnout for Democrats’ woes and asserted that Attorney General Greg Abbott — the GOP front-runner for governor next year — “has done everything he can to depress that as much as possible.”

Through a campaign aide, Abbott declined to comment. Texas GOP chairman Steve Munisteri noted the major obstacles facing Davis.

via Wendy Davis says she’ll either run for governor or re-election to Texas Senate | Dallasnews.com – News for Dallas, Texas – The Dallas Morning News.