Speaking to the National Press Club today in Washington DC, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis answered a significant part of the one question on the mind of most Texas politophiles. Here’s the scoop from Kate Glueck at Politico…
Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who skyrocketed to national fame after mounting a lengthy filibuster earlier this summer, on Monday said the only statewide office for which she’s considering a run is governor.
“I can say with absolute certainty that I will run for one of two offices: my state senate seat or for the governor,” Davis said after addressing a lunch held at the National Press Club, when asked whether she’d consider running for other statewide positions.
With an answer like this, it seems that Davis is not one to shy away from a fight. And the run at Texas Governor would definitely be just that… given that she is currently at a 20 to 1 funding disadvantage to state Attorney General Greg Abbott. But that probably plays in to the state senator’s choices to speak at the National Press Club luncheon in the first place.
Besides the big news, Davis actually shared a bunch of information at the luncheon. From watching C-SPAN coverage of the event, it sounded like she was at the top of her game. She avoided a fair number of questions, like deciding not to answer who her favorite Castro brother was, but Davis also crafted a very clear case for how and why Texas Democrats can win in the state. When asked what chance Democrats have at a statewide office, Senator Davis gave this response…
“I think the question is, ‘what chance do new leaders have of winning elected office in the state of Texas?’ The best place to start that conversation is to talk about what Texans want to see in their government, and not to talk about it in party frames. I represent a Senate district that many consider to be a Republican one. It’s certainly a swing district at least. And the people that I represent have never wanted to have conversations about party. They [instead] want to have conversations about problems, and what my proposed solutions for those problems are. The best chance that we have of bringing new leadership in Texas, I think, will look at lot like that.”
This is what is so exciting about Wendy Davis. As I’ve written previously, she comes from a Senate district that is in many ways reflective of the whole state… both urban and suburban, a roughly even number of white voters and minorities, and a diverse income bracket. She’s spent 4 years working in this circumstance, and dealing with this diaspora of voters. As a result, Davis is much better prepared to run statewide than someone from a “deep blue” district. Her announcement today may not seem like huge news, but it was important for the State Senator to narrow the field, and send signals to fellow Democrats that may have been considering a run for the big spot as well.
It sounds like she’ll be making her decision soon, assuming we ever get done with these Special Sessions.