State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) will enter the race for Texas governor next week, sources confirm to 1200 WOAI news, leading to a major shake up in Texas politics.
"If Wendy Davis does not announce for governor next week, it would be one of the bigger surprise of the year," Jason Stanford, a respected Democratic campaign consultant, told 1200 WOAI news.
Davis, 50, shot to prominence in June when she staged an unsuccessful 11 hour filibuster in the State Senate, briefly blocking majority Republicans from approving a bill restricting abortion. Gov. Rick Perry called a second special session and the bill was approved.
Davis has been considering a run for governor since then, and most Democrats tell 1200 WOAI news that the only thing standing between Davis and the race has been money. Likely Republican nominee Greg Abbott has in excess of $24 million in his campaign treasury.
But Stanford says Davis will be able to raise the funds needed to make it a horse race.
"What they are going to need to see is her running close and having a real shot," Stanford said. "Every poll I've seen shows her within ten points."
Davis' announcement will stir a lot of Democrats to announce plans to run for statewide office, Stanford and other Democrats agree. San Antonio State Senator Leticia Van de Putte is now expected to announce plans to run for Lieutenant Governor, and there will be major pressure placed on both of the Castro brothers for one of them to seek the Attorney General's post.
Davis starts the race by embracing some unpopular positions in Texas. Her claim to fame is opposing a measure which was supported by as many as 60% of Texas, and she is also reported to have made statements in support of gun control, about as close as you can come to political suicide in Texas.
But Stanford says governor is an unusual job in Texas. From Rick Perry to Ann Richards to Pa Ferguson, governors have been elected less on policy and more on how articulately they show their love for Texas and all things Texan.
"You've not really talking about policy, you're talking about how you feel about this state and the place you live," he said. "That is what she needs to say on Thursday."
No Democrat has been elected to any statewide non judicial office in Texas since Bob Bullock was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1994, and no governor has come close to being elected governor since Richards in 1990.