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Famous For Filibuster, Wendy Davis To Run For Texas Governor

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
September 26, 2013

A Texan known for talking is making news again.

And it’s not Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, whose June filibuster of a Texas abortion bill gained her national headlines, is reportedly running for governor. The Los Angeles Times, citing Democratic sources, says Davis will announce her candidacy next week.

Davis, 50, hopes to succeed Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who is retiring at the end of his third term. If she gets the Democratic nomination, Davis would likely face Republican Greg Abbott, the state attorney general.

Davis’ chances in red Texas are still to be seen. The New York Times, which also cited Democratic sources in reporting that Davis would run, put it this way:

“Ms. Davis’s decision has the potential to turn the race to determine Gov. Rick Perry’s successor into a rare competitive showdown between long-suffering Texas Democrats and the Republican conservatives who have ruled state politics for decades. She would enter the race as a substantial underdog, but her candidacy would represent the most serious challenge to the Republican lock on the office. Two Republicans, Mr. Perry and George W. Bush, have held the office since the party began its winning streak in governor’s races in 1994, with Mr. Bush’s victory over the incumbent, Ann W. Richards.”

In June, the pink-sneakered Davis staged an 11-hour filibuster of a measure limiting abortions in Texas. Her success was covered nationally, but short-lived; Perry called the Legislature back into session, and it passed the bill.

Earlier this week, Cruz, the junior U.S. senator from Texas, staged his own 21-hour talking protest against President Obama’s health care law, which, while not technically a filibuster, also got lots of national attention.

ABC News compares the two:

“The filibuster rules in the Texas legislature are much harsher than the ones in the U.S. Senate.”

“Davis wasn’t permitted to lean against the podium or rest in any way. And the strict rules also prohibited her from speaking about anything other than the bill at hand.”

“On the other hand, Cruz was able to talk about just about anything on the Senate floor, and even recited a bedtime story, Dr. Seuss’ ‘Green Eggs and Ham,’ to his young daughters at their bedtime.”

“Cruz and Davis were prohibited from eating, napping or leaving the floor, even to relieve themselves. And both got help from their colleagues, who joined them in question-and-answer sessions designed to let them rest their voices.”

[Copyright 2013 NPR]

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