Wendy Davis will run for governor and plans formal announcement in October
By Wayne Slaterwslater@dallasnews.com
2:59 pm on September 26, 2013 | Permalink
Wendy Davis plans to announce next month that she’s running for governor. The Fort Worth Democrat who made national headlines with an 11-hour filibuster against an abortion-restrictions bill has been soliciting big Democratic donors in recent days for money to mount the uphill campaign. Texas is a solidly red state and the last Democrat elected a governor of Texas was Ann Richards in 1990. Davis plans to make the announcement Oct. 3, according to several influential Democrats who have heard from her. Still, nothing’s official until she announces it.
The money question is a big one for the Davis campaign. She would need $40 million for the race. That’s nearly twice what the last Democratic nominee, former Houston Mayor Bill White, raised in his unsuccessful bid to unseat Rick Perry in 2010. But Davis’ filibuster against a 20-week abortion ban in June catapulted her to national attention and produced a flood money — $1 million – in a matter of weeks. She has been featured at Democratic events on both coasts and pressured by supporters in Texas to run for governor.
The issue, according to Davis associates, is whether she will have enough money to adequately tell her story — both positive things about herself and negative critiques of likely GOP nominee Greg Abbott — on television. TV in Texas is expensive, especially in Dallas and Houston where there are lots of Democratic voters and Republican-leaning suburban women who would be an important voting group. Abbott, who’s been attorney general for a decade and has developed as network of big-dollar Republican donors, reports more than $20 million in the bank. He’s being challenged in the GOP primary by former state Republican Chairman Tom Pauken, who has only reported a fraction of that amount but is being well received by tea party groups and says he has some financial commitments of his own.