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It looks like one of the worst-kept electoral secrets in America is about to be formally announced as State Sen. Wendy Davis of Texas is preparing to launch a gubernatorial run.
Davis, who is best known for her legendary filibuster (a political moment that has launched her from a budding star to a supernova), will be the likely Democratic nominee to go up against AG Greg Abbott. Current Governor Rick Perry will not run for another term, which will give Texas their second Governor of the new millennium and maybe their first who can master complete sentences.
But, as I have examined earlier, how strong are Davis’s odds in seeking the Governor’s Mansion? I am still of the belief that it is somewhere between “not great” and “minimal” but that’s not cause for defeat quite yet. Abbott will likely trounce Davis (and to be fair, any state-level politician) in fundraising as he has practically been running for Governor for the past four plus years. Texas is still a nice shade of red and while there has been plenty of hype about turning the state blue; we still have to see the votes before we get too excited.
The 2014 election cycle is slightly more than a year away (wait, really?) and Davis may not have enough time to turn Texas blue.
But then again, she’s a full-fledged star now. This isn’t some fledging prospect who is heavily hyped but has to work on name recognition. Davis is one of the few real special up-and-coming Democrats who has a national name and even casual observers remember her fight for women’s health. She may not be Elizabeth Warren in some respects but she’s a proven fighter and if she can filibuster for hours on end, fundraising and hand-shaking will be a piece of cake.
If Democrats REALLY want a 50-State Strategy, you need people like Wendy Davis. You need stars who are willing to take a risk and make a run for major offices in mid-term elections. No offense to him, but Wendy Davis isn’t Paul Sadler (the nominee Democrats had to face off against Ted Cruz for Senator in 2012). She’s a household name that can not only potentially be very competitive in a race but also bring in money and register new voters. The only way the Democrats are going to make inroads in these states will be with well-known candidates who can help build the party up and drum up turnout.
Wendy Davis has already been in some big fights. She has already been through plenty of adversity in her life in which she will be able to carve a pretty excellent message. She’s not an unknown quantity, she’s a quality candidate and represents the Democrats best shots at winning a major election in Texas in quite some time.
Will that translate to a win? Still unlikely, but will there be felt repercussions? You bet.